Damselflies and darters

Lucy and I spent a couple of hours surrounded by damselflies and dragonflies at DWT Bovey Heathfield nature reserve.

bovey heathfield

Many damselflies are bright blue and can be distinguished by the shape of the black mark on the second abdominal segment, which means taking a photo from above while they are still. Easier said than done. These might be azure damselflies.

This one is a blue tailed damselfly. Note the black and white mark (pterostigma) on the wings. This is black in other damselflies. The thin black body is almost invisible when it moves, making it look like a blue insect followed around by a blue dot.

Darters – so-called because they perch on vegetation and dart out to catch prey – are much larger, and noisy as they whizz past. There were lots of this four-spotted chaser on the wing.

four spotted chaser
four-spotted chaser
Four-spotted chaser
four-spotted chaser
black tailed skimmer?
black-tailed skimmer

Plenty of other wildlife that was hard to photograph clearly. We heard, but didn’t see, a yellowhammer singing its ‘little-bit-of-bread-and-no cheeeeese’ song.

spider's nest


The best flowers were on the dry industrial-site verge next to where we parked the car, including teasel, scentless mayweed, yellow-wort, common centaury and vervain.


Trapped in a cobweb in the kitchen was a buff ermine moth with a lovely fluffy head.

Lucy took the photos.

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