Dance of the Damselflies

Posted on July 18, 2015 · Posted in News

I had little interest in damselflies until we moved to this remote and beautiful part of Mid-Wales. In July two years ago I noticed swarms of blue damselflies appearing in marshy fields around the source of the River Twymyn, not far from Bron y Llys. In the morning sunlight they flashed like darts of lapis lazuli among tall clumps of rush and moor grass. It was rare for one to settle long enough to be photographed, but from a couple of good photos I was able to identify them as the common blue damselfly (Enallagma cyathigera).

I’ve subsequently discovered that the spectacle is an annual event, though it’s impossible to guarantee that swarms will appear in the same place at the same time. Last week I saw huge numbers of these damselflies when walking from Glaslyn to the wild upland valley of the Afon Hengwm.

The large red damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) doesn’t seem to appear in such numbers but it’s a regular around our small pond at this time of year. Last week a pair flew in tandem through the open patio doors of our dining room, the male attached to the female by the clasps at the tip of his abdomen. When I tried to get them back outside they obligingly landed on my hand, providing an excellent photo opportunity (thanks to Liz Timms, one of our B&B guests, for the great silhouette shot!).