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Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula)

One of the earliest species to emerge and indivduals may be on the wing from April until August. As the name implies, essentially red with extensive black markings and perhaps the easiest to identify. Invariably found near still or sluggish water in a variety of habitats - it was the first visitor noted to my garden pond! The Small-Red Damselfly is a similar but most unlikely species in Shropshire (If you see a 'red' with red legs, eyes, abdomen and wing spots - get very excited!) ......

A typical male with broad black marks on segments 7, 8 and 9. ....

Large Red Damselfly male vcu side VP 31 5 06 P1010017

There are three colour forms of the female. This is the form 'fulvipes' which has black on the segments intermediate between the form typica and the male.

Large Red Damselfly female fulvipes Shomere 5 6 14 IMG_2947

This is the dark 'melanotum' variant which has yellow antehumeral stripes and more extensive black on all abdominal segments.

Large red Damselfly female melanotum Whixall Moss 1 5 11 MG_1545.jpg

This is the form 'intermedia' which is midway between the two types above.

sbgallery Large red Damselfly female intermedia Cramer Gutter 5 7 15 Raw edit IMG_0333.jpg

A pair busy copulating on a warm Summers day. The female (fulvipes here) has more black on the abdomen, particularly at the junction of each segment...

Large red damselfly tandem on veined leaf Home 25 4 06

The pair remain in tandem as oviposition (egg laying) commences. The eggs are laid on submerged vegetation ....

Large red damselfly tandem egg laying xxx Home 25 4 06

Another close up of the pair with the female busy laying eggs under the water. Being able to perch on the Lily pad will serve her from drowning!

Large red damselfly cu female egg laying xxx Home 25 4 06

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