Variable Damselfly Coenagrion pulchellum

Less common than the Azure Damselfly and more variable (as the name suggests!) in its markings the Variable Damselfly is also found in similar habitat to the Azure, often along well vegetated dykes.
The male’s antehumeral stripes are generally broken and can on occasions not be present at all. There is a ‘wine goblet' shape on the second segment, which usually has a stem and segment 9 of the abdomen is mainly black.
The female, like the Azure has two colour forms: dark similar to the female Azure and a blue form, which has more blue on the back, when compared to the Azure. There is a black thistle shape on segment two of the abdomen which differs from the shape found on the female Azure.
Mainly seen from May up until the end of July.

Variable Damselfly-wheel
Variable Damselfly

Pair in wheel


Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum

The broad blue antehumeral stripes separate this blue damselfly from the Azure and Variable Damselflies.
The male usually a stalked black spot on segment two of the abdomen, which looks like a small ‘tree’ symbol and completely blue segments 8-9 with two black spots.
The female has two colour forms; blue and dull green with black marks on the abdomen consisting of a ‘thistle’ on segment two and rocket shapes on segments 3-7, but also has the broad antehumeral stripes of the male.
This species is often seen away from the margins, flying over open water.
On the wing from the end of April till end of September.

Common Blue 3

Pair in tandem ovipositing

Common Blue (1)
Common Blue (2)

Male-the broad blue area on the side of the thorax Pair in tandem

Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans

A common species found in a wide variety of habitats (from late May until September), including brackish waters.
The male has a blackish abdomen with a blue segment 8 on the abdomen. The lower thorax is blue as are the eyes.
Females have several colour forms (at least 5), violacea, infuscans, rufescens, infuscans-obsoleta and typica which is the same as the male. The only difference between the sexes in this form is the spur under segment 9 of the female's abdomen, not an obvious feature!
Although this seems complicated, basically a blackish abdomen with a ‘coloured’ (usually blue) eighth segment to the abdomen denotes a Blue-tailed Damselfly.

The Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura pumilio is a rare damselfly and easily overlooked, but has been seen in recent years in Norfolk.

Blue-tailed Damselfly

Male with female form
rufescens in wheel



Blue-tailed Damselfly-wheel

Male with female form
infuscans-obsoleta in wheel

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