Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Small Red-eyed Damselflies

These are some of the first Small Red-eyed Damselflies to be recorded at The Lodge. Mark tipped me off as I happened to be wandering past and though I didn't really know what to look for, I managed to get a single photo of the pair 'in tandem'.

The problem is that they're really very similar to Red-eyed Damselflies, which are very numerous on the swimming pool at The Lodge. I was lucky to photograph the right pair, though a brief comparison with a nearby Red-eyed meant the size difference was discernable.

There's not much in it:
  • smaller size - 29mm body length for Small Red-eyed, v 35mm for Red-eyed
  • paler underside to eyes
  • greenish shoulder-stripes on male Small, where male Red-eyed is all black
What we found most helpful on our second visit was the pale blue tail tip (I'm sure there's a more technical description of that). On the Small Red-eyed, the tip reaches up onto one more segment than it does on the Red-eyed. It gives an appearance of having been dipped into blue paint at an angle of 45 degrees, compared to the 90 degrees of Red-eyed.

Identification suggestions much appreciated!

photos taken with Nikon Coolpix 995

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