The Azure damselfly (Coenagrion puella) is quite common here in The Netherlands, and always a pleasure to see!
At first glance it could be a bit tricky to distinguish the Azure from a Common blue (Enallagma cyathigerum) damselfly, but if you look at the antehumeral stripe (that’s the long blue section on the thorax), the Azure’s blue stripe is narrower than the black stripe beneath it, and there’s an extra black line, a “spur” extending from the wing base towards the legs. The Common blue’s antehumreral stripe is broader than the black stripe beneath it and there’s no “spur” on the thorax.
Another thing to look at is the second segment of the males’ abdomen (just behind the thorax): both are blue but the Azure has a black U-shape and the common blue has a black mushroom-shaped mark.
And now I need your help! Please take a look at the second photo below, it’s not a great shot but I hope someone can help me identify this little damselfly.. I’m doubting if it’s either a Variable damselfly (Coenagrion pulchellum) or perhaps a female Azure in blue form. If you know which one it is, please leave a comment below!
Close-ups of a Blue-tailed damselfly, Ischnura elegans, a.k.a. Common Bluetail
Oh sigh, another damselfly.. Yes, yes, I know, but just one more! I’m simply not able to pass by such a beautiful, male Emerald damselfly (look at the shimmering blue pruinescence) and not take a picture.
Some fellow bloggers, who are very good photographers, have suggested that I should use flash to improve my pictures. Here’s me trying to follow good advice, and I’m pretty pleased with the outcome. Thanks!
f/5 – 1/60 – ISO 400 – 60 – with flash
I found a tree full of mating Emerald damselflies! I’ve never seen so many damselflies at the same time before. The first picture is my favorite, I’m happy both damselflies are reasonably sharp and I like the background colors. The second one is similar, but a different couple and different camera settings. The last picture is not very good, but I include it anyway to show you how “crowded” the tree was.
Top: f/4 – 1/500 – ISO 200 – 60
Middle: f/8 – 1/100 – ISO 200 – 60
Bottom: f/8 – 1/80 – ISO 400 – 60
An Emerald damselfly fell victim for a Cross spider.. Poor Emmy! He was quickly wrapped up in silk for a later snack.
f/4 – 1/125 – ISO 200 – 60
Chasing after butterflies can be a tiresome business sometimes. After a couple of hours with no good shots, I took a break and sat down. Then this little common bluetail joined me and posed nicely for several shots. So nice!
f/5.6 – 1/250 – ISO 200 – 60
A big fly lunch for a small damselfly…
f/8 – 1/60 – ISO 400- 60
I’m not 100% sure, but I think this little guy is a Willow Emerald damselfly. He kept posing patiently while I was fumbling with different camera settings. Isn’t he beautiful? His back sparkled like a rainbow and a golden treasure combined.
f/5.6 – 1/250 – ISO 200 – 60 (both pictures)
f/4.5 – 1/160 – ISO 200 – 60