Good Morning Damsels

If I’m lucky, in a couple of weeks, I may have the joy of watching Damselflies emerge from my pond in the morning before starting work (from home), or while I’m having a morning tea break. The end of April / beginning of May seems to be the time for it, looking back through my photos. Most emerge in the morning, so that’s the best time to see it. Once they’ve cast off their larval casing they’re pretty vulnerable as they have to wait until they are able to fly, which can take a while, so I guess the morning is the safest time for them to do this.

So while the coronavirus situation is horrible, it’s nice to find positives to the need to work from home. Fingers crossed there will be new damsels to see this year. Here are some freshly emerged damsels from previous years…

This one doesn’t look that fresh but I took the photo on 20th April 2019, so it can’t have been out for long. The realisation that that was a year ago tomorrow sent me out in the garden to double check for damsels in the middle of writing this post! There weren’t any signs as yet.
I was so excited to see this first damsel emerging from my pond (in 2016), as it meant that my pond was approved by them! 🙂 In this photo, this Large Red damselfly is kind of stubby and pale, but has expanded a fair bit compared to the size of its exuvia (larval case)
This is the same damselfly about 2 hours later, looking pretty much like a grown-up damselfly
And here he is after about 4 hours, after one of his first flights, looking at me with a cheeky face!
I managed to find this damsel very soon after its emergence. It doesn’t really look like it has wings yet, just little stumps where they will be. This one is an Azure damselfly.
Here it is looking rather ghostly still, a while later on that day.
Here she is later on, looking a bit more grown up
If I’m very lucky I might get to see the nymphs (larvae) in the pond before they emerge. As you can see this one is sitting on a little leaf – Frogbit. Perhaps that plant may give me a clue of when they’ll emerge. It’s not yet returned to the surface of the pond yet this year.
Here’s a Large Red from a couple of years ago, almost done, just resting on his exuvia

Hopefully I will have some photos to share of this year’s new damsels 🙂

If you’re interesting in the life cycle of dragonflies and damselflies, this Life Cycle and Biology page on the British Dragonfly Society website is useful.

This post was inspired by the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Morning.

By Suzy Shipman

I like to take photos and write words ...


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