Large Red Damselfly

Pyrrhosoma nymphula

On 22nd May this year, there were more mating pairs of large red damselflies (pyrrhosoma nymphula) than I have seen before at my local pond. At one time we spotted four or five pairs on nearby reeds and grasses. The problem is always that they tend to be rather inaccessible to photograph or settled in backgrounds that are too busy and confused to make a good photo. We spent a couple of hours at the pond, during which time the sky became overcast and the temperature dropped, so the damselflies eventually disappeared.

Male large red damselflies are bright red with a black thorax and thin black bands on the abdomen. The amount of red and black on the females’ abdomens varies, with some forms appearing almost entirely black. Immatures have lighter eyes and have yellow stripes on the thorax.

I have selected a few of the better shots to show here. I am hoping for another visit to the site soon, as other varieties should be appearing over the pond.

© Christine Widdall