Large Red Damsels

Large red damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) female

Damselflies may be the smaller cousins of dragonflies but they are still wonderful fliers.  There seem to have been relatively few damselflies around so far this year despite an early warm spring.  Today, however, tens of large red damselflies were quartering territories along a length of old aqueduct near Horsley.

Large red damselfly, male

Large red damselflies are wonderfully simple to identify, they are damselflies and they are red!  In other parts of southern England and Wales there could be confusion with the smaller ‘small red damselfly’ but in Northumberland we are pretty safe in assuming it to be the larger one.  Large red damslefly adults can live up to six weeks but the average is somewhat shorter at about six days.

There were also a couple of immature blue damselflies around but these are somewhat more problematic despite the limited number of local options.  They can be tricky in full adult colours but in a pale, newly emerged state they will remain un-named.


About thehutts

The Hutt Family from Northumberland
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3 Responses to Large Red Damsels

  1. vivinfrance says:

    Um. Difference between damselfly and dragonfly? Large and small red I can cope with!

  2. thehutts says:

    Dragonflies hold their wings out at right angles to their body and cannot fold them back. Damselflies can fold their wings back and usually rest with them along the length of the body as in the photographs.

  3. vivinfrance says:

    I thought it was something like that, but didn’t know which was which.

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