Damsel, fly!

It’s only been a few days since my last post, in which I researched damselfly larvae after finding five in the pond, but it’s surprising what can happen in a small space of time. Today, not only did I see (and collect) the dry husks of metamorphosized damselfly nymphs, but I also watched a couple in the process of moulting their last skins.

In their former bodies, they crawl onto dry land and grasp onto something (like a pond reed or rock), then, when ready, their drying skin splits from head to thorax and they pull themselves out. The last heave seems to be getting their long abdomen out, but they manage, and it’s not long before they start inflating their new wings.

They do this for an hour or more in the sun, and eventually, they’re ready to take off. During this time, they also change colour and appear more defined, making it fairly easy to tell what species they are. In the case of these specimens, I think a Common Blue Damselfly .

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~ by Adam Bone on May 27, 2010.

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