#30DaysWild 23: Emerald Damselflies Emerge

Today saw the first Emerald damselfly of 2020 gracing the eco lodge wildlife pond here at Wheatland Farm.

These creatures only take one year to go from egg to adult, unlike some of our other dragon and damselflies. Actually, they stay as eggs most of the year, being laid into waterside plants in the summer and not hatching until the next spring. So we take care not to cut back all the pond-side vegetation it winter, for fear of losing them.

Emerald damselfiles like shallow wetlands – usually ones that are permanently wet, but they may be able to cope with occasional drying out, if the egg is safe inside a plant stem and the water comes back by spring. So our newish scrapes by Beech Lodge and at the side of the field below Balebarn Lodge should also help this particular species.

We’re not sure whether this today’s find is an immature male, or a mature female. The males eventually develop a blue colouration that makes they much more pretty, like this one, photographed at Wheatland Farm in 2018.

Shows a male emerald damselfly photographed at Wheatland Farm

Unlike most damselflies, they generally hold their wings slightly apart at rest, sort of half way to the typical dragonfly open wing posture. They are also notably larger than most of our other dragonflies, and the only damselfly with green colouration we see at Wheatland Farm. So if you spot one, you’ll know what it is. They are rather inconspicuous amidst all the greenery round the pond though – so easy to miss for those less dragonfly obsessed than Maggie.

Previously for #30DaysWild

This time last year: we were watching a bumblebee wait out the rain amidst Wheatland Farm’s ox eye daisies

This time in 2018: Off to the pub – the Duke of York at Iddesleigh – where you can watch the house martins while enjoying a pint of Devon ale or cider.