jccurd's picture

Confused Coenagrion

Observed: 21st July 2010 By: jccurdjccurd’s reputation in Invertebratesjccurd’s reputation in Invertebratesjccurd’s reputation in Invertebratesjccurd’s reputation in Invertebrates

Sorting some older photos for my website, I paused at this picture which I'd originally filed under Azure Damselfly. I'm now suspicious about its being a Variable Damselfly, though. The black design on S2 is more like a "Y", connected to S3 via a "stalk", and it looks heavier than the design on an Azure. The confusion arises with the unbroken antehumeral stripes and the design on S9&10 looking a bit more like an Azure pattern, to me, anyway. But then, it is called "Variable".
Expert comments welcome (of course, that's why we're here) but I'm opting for Variable, I think, with low confidence. ;-)

Species interactions

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RoyW's picture

" But then, it is called 'Variable' "

Although Coenagrion pulchellum is the species that has been named "Variable", there is actually quite a range of variation in many other species.
This is a male Azure, so was filed correctly originally. The marking on the second abdomen segment is not typical (and does look more like the typical S2 markings of a male Variable), but the other features, including the shape of the rear edge of the pronotum, show that it is a male Azure. If in doubt about the ID of a Coenagrion species always try and check the shape of the pronotum.

It's certainly a very interesting individual though.

jccurd's picture

Back where it belongs.

OK, thanks for your instructive comments and ids, as always, Roy. At least you'll stop me getting the Beds recorders over-excited. ;-)

Now, to look up pronotum shapes ...