Blue-tailed Damselfly

Ischnura elegans

Down by the river today I came across these bright blue damselflies resting in tall grass on the river bank. All appear to be male, although the females have up to five different colour forms, and one is very much like the males. It can be a patient game photographing these up close with a  macro lens as they can be fairly skittish. The good thing is they don’t always fly far if disturbed, and they do seem to get used to you after a time.

Quite a distinctive damselfly with its bright blue tail and blue stripes on the thorax. Other colour forms exist which may lead to confusion, particularly with the female. Body length 30mm. Forewing 15 to 20mm.

Pairs may spend up to six hours mating, and are commonly found in the ‘wheel’ position.

Seen may to August, and found in a wide range of habitats amongst waterside vegetation. This is one of Britain’s commonest damselflies, widespread mainly in the south.

Photographs taken June 2016, local river, Staffordshire.

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