Saturday, 4 September 2010

Willow Emerald Damselfly.

Ruddy Darter. Ian Tallon.

This is becoming weird as I have another mind reader on my hands. Ian sent me this photograph at the same time I had decided some brief notes on the subject of the title would be interesting...Thanks for this Ian, it was good to hear from you again.

I've seen a report from RBA - which can be linked from my sidebar - of two Willow Emerald Damselflies (WED) at Strumpshaw Fen in Norfolk today, yesterday there was one of an amazing fifty near Trimley Marsh in Suffolk.

As with other wildlife of the world which can be known by more than one name the Willow Emerald Damselfly is also known as the Western Willow Spreadwing and has a sister species the Eastern Willow Spreadwing (EWS) from which it can only be reliably separated under magnification, both are easily noted for their vivid green colour, large size, and habit of hiding/hanging in trees and bushes sometimes far from water. They are the only European damselfly to lay eggs in live wood -  the Willow Emerald exclusively so - though the EWS is known to oviposit also in non-woody materials.

Until recently the WED was inexplicably absent from Great Britain even though suitable habitat abounds here but there are thoughts it is possibly slowly spreading northwards. South-eastern limits are poorly understood because of the confusion with it's sister species the EWS, southernmost European records are from Sicily, northern Greece and SE Bulgaria.

   Four-spotted Chaser. Phillip Tomkinson.

I'm grateful to Phillip for recently allowing me to post some of his photographs on Birds2blog, his website can be seen HERE  

I recommend having UK Dragonflies in your favourites, and Field Guide to the Dragonflies of Britain and Europe, Klass-Douwe B Dijkstra on your bookshelf. 

No comments: