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First damselfly of the season


by Richard Jones

Visiting an old friend in West Dulwich last week I saw the first damselfly of the season.


rj-200509-damselfly1Visiting an old friend in West Dulwich last week I saw the first damselfly of the season. I wasn't quick enough to see which, but it was a male of either the common blue damsel (Enallagma cyanthigerum), pictured below, or the azure (Coenagrion puella), pictured left. This is very early. Although their flight seasons are usually given as 'May to September' I don't normally come across them until early June.

Her pond is relatively shallow, and in full sun, so the warmth of recent days has had the best chance of encouraging them out onto the wing.

rj-200509-damselfly2We used to get both commonly in our pond and the handful flying around the emergent sedges were just the most recent, judging from the several dozens of empty nymphal skins (exuviae) still attached to the edges of the pond liner like miniature paper dragons.

Since I had to replace the pond liner early in 2008 I have not seen any adults in my garden. I did dredge up a damsel larva one day, so I am hopeful they are still about despite the large number of highly predatory newts.



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Gardeners' World Web User 20/05/2009 at 13:29

Hi Richard I expect quite a few people will have seen Large Red Damselflies as their 'first': that's certainly what happened in my garden (see 'Emerging Large Red Damselfly' on http://thegardenpondblog.org.uk/2009/05/09/emerging-large-red-damselfly/)

Gardeners' World Web User 23/05/2009 at 07:50

I have just seen one in my garden this morning!

Gardeners' World Web User 23/05/2009 at 12:48

THIS MORNING WHILE I WAS CLEANING THE WINDOWS ONE PERCHED ITSELF ON THE LEDGE OF THE WINDOW SUNNING ITS LOVELY SPARKERLY BLUE BODY AND LOVELY LEADED WINGS..

Gardeners' World Web User 23/05/2009 at 14:16

I saw my first damselfly - a large red - here in the walled garden on May 6th which seems very early for Northumberland!

Gardeners' World Web User 25/05/2009 at 21:08

Hi We have also spotted a Damsen fly today in our garden whilst sitting in the glorious sunshine. We are in the North East at the coast.

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