Thursday 5 February 2015

Blue-tailed Beauties.

Although the Blue-tailed Damselfly is a widespread species and can be found in most lowland habitats in the UK it must be one of our most colourful damselflies.I have seen them at my modest garden pond for the last couple of years now and in the late summer afternoons females regularly visit my pond to lay their eggs into the submerged plant tissues.As is common with this species the male is not in attendance while the female oviposits..
Mature males are all blue with black markings while the females come in at least five colour forms.Both sexes however have two-toned diamond shaped wing-spots on the front wings.
Males emerge with a green thorax and mature into the adult blue while newly emerged females can be a salmon pink (form rufescens) or lilac (form violacea).The rufescens turns to a yellowish-brown form known as rufescens-obsoleta while the violacea matures into either the same blue colouring as the male (called typica) or the form infuscans which has an olive-green thorax and brown tail.

Immature male (above) and mature male (below).

The immature females rufescens  pictured above will  mature to a  rufescens-obsoleta  female(below).

The other female forms such as the violacea  will mature into the female blue form typica or the olive-green adult infuscans.

The violacea form (above) is in transition stage to form typica.

The following two mating pairs show an infuscans female and an rufescens-obsoleta female.