Damselflies

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Alkali Bluet Damselfly

Alkali Bluet Damselfly, Vancouver Island, BCThis is a small damselfly only up to 3.5 cm long. The males are blue on the sides of the thorax, and the upper side of the abdomen. Females are light blue on the thorax to greenish-yellow on the tail. The upper side of the abdomen is mostly black, except for segment eight, which is blue. Read More….

 

 

Boreal Bluet Damselfly

Boreal Bluet Damselfly, Vancouver Island, BCVancouver Island has a large resident population of the Boreal Bluet Damselfly. You can see the Boreal Bluet from the arctic circle all the way to Mexico. From the Eastern seaboard to the Gulf of Mexico. These active creatures are harmless to humans, but they are voracious predators of small flying insects such as flies and mosquitoes. Read More….

 

 

Pacific Forktail Damselfly

Pacific Forktail Damselfly, Vancouver Island, BCSouth Vancouver Island has some pacific forktails and they have been seen on Quadra Island opposite Campbell River. They are not as common as the western forktails. The Pacific forktail is a small little damselfly. Only 2.5 cm in length, the male is nonetheless easily recognized by the four tiny blue dots atop the black upper surface of the thorax. Read More….

 

 

Western Forktail Damselfly

Western Forktail Damselfly, Vancouver Island, BCAlthough The Western Forktail Damselfly tends to be more common around streams than other forktails, especially slow, grassy or sedge-dominated ones, they also select the habitats of alkaline ponds with mud substrates and marshy edges of lakes. Read More….

 

 

 

Western Forktail Damselfly, Vancouver Island, BC
Western Forktail Damselfly, Vancouver Island, BC, photo by Bud Logan

The adult damselflies are often mistaken for dragonflies but if you look closely there are many differences. Damselflies can close their wings parallel and over their back. They also have a body small in length with finer features compared to dragonflies. They are seen more often than the dragonflies.

Their lifecycle usually last one year although some species can live for two years. The damselflies mate while attached to weeds or on shorelines. The female then climbs down farther down into the weeds and dips her body into the water to lay the eggs. Once her eggs have been laid, she crawls back to the top to mate again.

The nymph goes through about 12 stages or molts before developing into a mature adult. While in the nymph stage they feed by laying in wait for tiny aquatic insects to get close and then they grab and devour them. When the time has come to emerge, the nymph swims towards the land to climb on the weeds or plants. While attached to the weed, the skin will break loose along the wing area. The first thing the new damselfly does is to push or pump body fluids to its stomach and wings. The new form will lengthen to resemble the other adults of its kind.

The damselfly is about one inch long when it emerges as an adult. The nymphs not yet ready to emerge will migrate in the fall to deeper waters where it will hibernate till the following spring and the process starts again.

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