Saturday, 10 September 2016

Willow Emerald Damselfly at Kings Dyke NR, Cambridgeshire

Note the obvious 'spur' marking on the thorax. A key feature of this species

You can just about make out the pale wing spots, or pterostigma, another key feature

A damselfly with very few 20th century records in the U.K., but first seen in regular numbers in Suffolk in 2009. This species has been steadily moving eastwards over the past few years and has now been sighted in the Peterborough area on at least two occasions, one of which being the sighting that I had at Kings Dyke nature reserve a few weeks ago.

Not being a dragonfly or damselfly expert, I quite happily took the above photos without realising the importance of the sighting, or what species I was actually photographing. I knew it was an emerald type damselfly because of the colour of the individual, but it wasn't until I looked at the photos in greater detail and cross referencing with my dragonfly field guide, that I realised the individual was a Willow Emerald Damselfly (I think a female). A new species for the reserve and only the second in the Peterborough area, with the first being a week previous to mine.


  1. I think Dragon- and Damselflies are so beautiful that I taught myself to tell the difference. It's not difficult as I'm sure you know. I saw some rare species at Bedford's Park in Havering where there is an area specially created to be attractive to them. On summer evenings Hobbies seem to hunt them.
    CLICK HERE for Bazza’s fabulous Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

    1. Hi Bazza!
      They are both amazing creatures and whilst I can tell the difference between dragons and damsels, the species are still tricky to me. They are one of the Hobbys' favourite food, I often watch these amazing birds catching a dragonfly in mid air and then eating them on the wing.


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