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Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura pumilio)

Extremely scarce in Shropshire and a very localised Damselfly nationally. I know of only one location where I found a single male and female during July 2011. This species is still doing well in early July 2012 when several immature males and females were observed. This species favours mineral rich flushes which do not dry out in Summer. It has a tendency to disappear from sites after a few years. It is clearly an under-reported species as it is not at all showy unless specifically searching sites with this species in mind.

First impression of the male is that of a Blue-tailed Damselfly and the upper abdomen is similarly almost entirely black. Abdominal segment 8 (all blue in 'Blue-tailed') has much reduced blue however and segment 9 is all blue. Segment 9 has a pair of variable black marks on each flank, normally 'dots' but these can also be comma shaped - note the variability in the males below. Adult females have a pale green thorax which in immatures is bright orange gradually maturing to greenish brown. The colour of the flanks blends into the thorax where the broad antehumeral stripes are defined by a narrow black line. The upper surface of the mature female abdomen is black on all segments.

Male seen during 2015 from above and close up from the side. Note the narrow blue antehumeral stripes and marks on segment 9 which can be 'dots' or other shapes but these are quite variable......

Scarce blue tailed Damselfly male 1 Titterstone Clee 5 7 15 Raw edit IMG_0273






Scarce blue tailed Damselfly male 2 for cu Titterstone Clee 5 7 15 Raw edit IMG_0307






Male seen side on with metallic black abdomen and narrow, blue antehumeral stripes ....

sbgallery Scarce blue tailed Damselfly  9 7 11  IMG_3681






sbgallery Scarce blue tailed Damselfly male 9 7 11 IMG_3656






Male seen from above, the blue marking on segment 8 and all of segment 9 can be clearly seen....

sbgallery Scarce blue tailed Damselfly male upperparts Titterstone Clee 9 7 11  IMG_3702






Closer view of the rear abdomen, the part blue colouration on segment 8 which extends to all of segment 9 with black marks on the flanks...

sbgallery Scarce blue tailed Damselfly male  9 7 11 IMG_3683






Scarce blue tailed Damselfly male 9 7 11 IMG_3700






Typical adult female. The colour of the flanks blends into the thorax where the broad antehumeral stripes are defined by a narrow black line. The upper surface of the abdomen is black on all segments with a matt appearance towards the rear.

Scarce Blue tailed  Damselfly female 26 6 11 IMG_2089




A subadult female with green-brown colored thorax and orange tinged abdomen.

sbgallery Scarce Blue tailed Damselfly subadult female sidee view Titterstone Clee 5 7 12 IMG_6380




An immature male seen from above. Note the drab straw background to the lower abdominal segments and pale green colouration to the thorax.

sbgallery Scarce Blue tailed Damselfly immature male  Titterstone Clee 5 7 12  IMG_6397




The same immature male seen side on......

sbgallery Scarce Blue tailed Damselfly immature male  side on Titterstone Clee 5 7 12  IMG_6395 1




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