jccurd's picture

Damselfly - Id request

Observed: 26th September 2009 By: jccurdjccurd’s reputation in Invertebratesjccurd’s reputation in Invertebratesjccurd’s reputation in Invertebratesjccurd’s reputation in Invertebrates
IMG 3655 Damselfly

Relatively small, pale damselfly beside lake rich with odonata in southern France. Maybe immature and colouring undeveloped?

Species interactions

No interactions present.


RoyW's picture

Immature damselflies

This is, as you suspected, and immature damselfly which has not yet developed it's full colours. Recently emerged damselflies can be very tricky to identify, although they do usually show the pattern they have once mature (it's just very faint and lacks the bright colours).

It is usually best to try and identify whether you are looking at a male or female before you try to identify the species (yours is a male because there is a swelling under the second abdomenal segment, counting back from the thorax - first segment is very short).

The main visible feature that identifies this one to species is the pale dorsal surface to only the eight abdomen segment (near the end) - this will become the blue 'tail' when it matures and contrast with the rest of the abdomen which becomes black on top.
Compare the markings with an illustration, or photo, of a mature male and you will see that the patterns match even though the colours don't.

jccurd's picture

Many thanks


Thank you so much for your educational response to my observation. There were, indeed, mature Blue-tailed Damselflies at this location along with several other species of odonata (inc. Emperors, Scarlet Darters, Black-tailed Skimmers).

Last year was my first as a camera-stalker of dragonflies and damselflies so I am very much a beginner. You are clearly very experienced and I appreciate your time and effort.

If I may impose, I have another interesting one for you coming up ;-)