Wednesday, 22 July 2020

Damselfly Deliberations

Photo credit: David Gill 2020

I posted my photograph of this damselfly in my previous post about Aldeburgh sightings

My somewhat limited damselfly ID skills are rather rusty at present as I have only seen about five of these insects this season due to my shielding. Two of you offered identifications for which I am very grateful. However, I am left with a dilemma: is this a Small Red-eyed Damselfly or is it a female Common Blue? 

I have decided to pursue the matter a little further by (a) posting further photographs, the ones in this post which were taken by David (and used with his permission!), and (b) posting the photos on iSpot so that others also have the chance to have a look and offer an opinion. I will let you know how I get on. Meanwhile, please feel free, as ever, to let me know your thoughts in the Comments section. Thank you!

Photo credit: David Gill 2020

Photo credit: David Gill 2020

Photo credit: David Gill 2020

P.S. Update as of 23 July 2020. Many thanks to A.J. Parr, the Dragonfly Recorder for Suffolk, who has informed me that this is a female Small Red-eyed Damselfly, quite probably part of a local (Thorpeness) population. He explains that a female Common Blue would have 'only one, not two, dark streaks on the side of the thorax'.


Imperfect and Tense said...

The blue/black damselfly species can be quite tricky to ID from each other. Admittedly, this is a female and so not strictly blue/black, but that just adds a layer of difficulty.

The rationale for my suggested ID of this damsel was based more on what it is not: the antehumeral stripe on the thorax does not seem to be very wide; there is a clear 'spur' marking visible on the side of the thorax; and there aren't any visible spots behind the eyes or a line between them.

It will be interesting to hear what other folks think. The County Recorder of dragonflies and damselflies for Suffolk is Adrian Parr. I am sure he would be able to help you.

Crafty Green Poet said...

lovely photos, Caroline, but can't help with id, sorry!

Caroline Gill said...

Thank you... there is now one suggested ID on my iSpot site, so I have left a message saying I will leave the matter running a bit longer before updating my ID of 'damselfly' to something more specific. Thank you, 'Imperfect and Tense' for your County Recorder suggestion, which is a good one...

Lowcarb team member said...

Fabulous photographs :)

All the best Jan