Red Damselfy Drops By

This afternoon I happen to be lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. As I am on holiday this week, I was relaxing by my garden pond when I saw a Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) alight on a nearby plant. I grabbed my camera and got one shot off when it lifted off and dropped to the base of my Water Mint growing in the pond. To my surprise it looked like it was laying eggs at the base of the stem. It was there for a short while, then it shifted position to another stem to do the same thing.

Photographs  taken of Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula)  in June 2016, rear garden pond, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2016. Camera used Nikon D3200, with Sigma 105mm macro lens.

Large Red Damselfly

Pyrrhosoma nymphula

A large red and black-striped damselfly with black legs. Both sexes have red eyes. The males have deep red coloured abdomens with bronze-black bands. The thorax has a bronze-black top and stripe across the side. Females have three colour forms, the commonest is similar to the male but has more black on the abdominal segments.It is similar to the rarer Small Red Damselfly (Ceriagrion tenellum). Body length 35mm. Forewing 20 to 25mm.

It flies April to August. The female lays eggs in batches of around 350  into submerged vegetation. The larvae develop for 1-3 years before emerging as adults.

One of the first damselflies to appear in spring, and found in most wetland habitats, but avoids fast-flowing water. Common and widespread throughout.

Photographs taken May 2016, back garden pond, Staffordshire,  June 2015, front garden, Staffordshire, and June 2006, Wyre Forest, Worcestershire.