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White-legged Damselfly (Platycnemis pennipes)

Slow flowing muddy rivers are the classic breeding location for this species and the banks of the River Severn during June and July are the place to look. After dispersal, they may turn up elsewhere - I've photographed one at Berrington Pool in 2010. First impression is of a 'pale' blue Damselfly and on closer examination, the lower legs (tibia) as the name implies have white inflated edges. The wingspots are distinctive too - pale chestnut in colour.

Here's an immature male, note the pale colouration and lack of complete black markings on the abdomen ....

White-legged Damselfly






Whilst the overall colour is variable with maturation, a much bluer adult male viewed from above, showing the characteristic abdominal segment markings....

White-legged Damselfly




A close up of the head and legs of immature male. Note the inflated tibiae, which give it the name. The legs are covered in coarse black hairs ....

White-legged Damselfly




Another close up head facing view of an adult male.....

White-legged Damselfly




An adult male seen side on, note the very long 'coenagrion spur' which has a hockey stick shape...

White-legged Damselfly male






Immature male, showing similar marking and the chestnut wing spots....

White-legged Damselfly male




The adult female seen here has a pale green thorax and pale abdomen, the black markings become more pronounced as they mature....

White-legged Damselfly female




Seen side on, showing the very long coenagrion spur and chestnut wing spots nicely.....

White-legged Damselfly female




Very immature female seen here, the black markings on the abdomen are undeveloped, appearing as mere dots, this is the 'lactea' phase ....

White-legged Damselfly female lactea






Seen head on and in close up (male), they are of the most striking Damselflies....

White-legged Damselfly male




The 'bug eyed' monster indeed! ....

White-legged Damselfly male




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