Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella)
Species
Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella). Male. Taken at Otmoor, Oxon on May 21st 2010. Approx 5x lifesize.
Male. Taken at Otmoor, Oxon on May 21st 2010.
(1/160th sec at f14. Approx 3x lifesize. Click image for larger version. © David Hastings)
Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella). Male. Taken at Otmoor, Oxon on June 23rd 2012. Approx 5x lifesize.
Male. Taken at Otmoor, Oxon on June 23rd 2012.
(1/100th sec at f13. Approx 3x lifesize. Click image for larger version. © David Hastings)
Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella). Female. Taken at Otmoor, Oxon on May 21st 2010. Approx 6x lifesize.
Female. Taken at Otmoor, Oxon on May 21st 2010.
(1/250th sec at f14. Approx 4x lifesize. Click image for larger version. © David Hastings)
Azure Damselfly mating wheel (Coenagrion puella). Mating wheel. Taken at Otmoor, Oxon on June 17th 2012. Approx 5x lifesize.
Mating wheel. Taken at Otmoor, Oxon on June 17th 2012.
(1/250th sec at f18. Approx 3x lifesize. Click image for larger version. © David Hastings)

Description

Wing span: 32 - 46 mm; body length: 33 - 35 mm

This species is one of the commonest damselflies in Britain. The male has a characteristic flat-bottomed "U"-shaped mark on S2. S8 is blue and S9 has black markings like a bow tie towards the rear. The female is green or pale blue with extensive black markings. There is also a blue form of the female. Both sexes have the "Coenagrion spur" on the side of the thorax.

It is found throughout the British Isles, but is absent from most of Scotland.

It breeds in a wide range of standing waters, but prefers smaller and more sheltered sites than the Common Blue Damselfly. It is regularly found in garden ponds and small ditches.

Eggs are laid, with the pair in tandem, into vegetation or just below the water surface. They hatch after a few weeks. Nymphs take a year to reach maturity (two in the north). The flight season is from May to August.

There is usually a concentrated emergence in spring. Adults stay around the margins of bodies of water, rarely venturing out over open water like the Common Blue Damselfly.

A common and widespread species (except in Scotland).

Sightings

21-Jun-2018 : Whelford Pools, Glos (10)
20-Jun-2018 : Standlake Common, Oxon (250+)
18-Jun-2018 : Otmoor, Oxon (100+)
18-Jun-2018 : Bernwood Forest, Bucks (1)
18-Jun-2018 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (1)
11-Jun-2018 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (1)
08-Jun-2018 : Barnwell Country Park, Northants (6+)
06-Jun-2018 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (1)
06-Jun-2018 : Otmoor, Oxon (100+)
18-May-2018 : Barton Fields, Abingdon, Oxon (5+)
18-May-2018 : Radley Lakes, Oxon (10+)
14-May-2018 : Otmoor, Oxon (100+)
13-May-2018 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (2)
11-May-2018 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (4)
09-May-2018 : Whelford Pools, Glos (20+)

14-Jun-2017 : Whelford Pools, Glos (5+)
06-Jun-2017 : Plitvicka Jezera National Park, Croatia (10+)
30-May-2017 : Otmoor, Oxon (250+)
21-May-2017 : Abingdon, Oxon (10+)
14-May-2017 : Whelford Pools, Glos (2+)

23-Jul-2016 : Otmoor, Oxon (2)
16-Jul-2016 : Silchester Common, Hants (2m,1f)
26-Jun-2016 : Otmoor, Oxon (20+)
19-Jun-2016 : Otmoor, Oxon (50+)
07-Jun-2016 : Barton Fields, Abingdon, Oxon (1+)
05-Jun-2016 : Otmoor, Oxon (100+)
14-May-2016 : Otmoor, Oxon (7+)

21-Jun-2015 : Otmoor, Oxon (20+)
13-Jun-2015 : Barton Fields, Abingdon, Oxon (2)
06-Jun-2015 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (1f)
01-Jun-2015 : Otmoor, Oxon (250+)
09-May-2015 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (2+)
27-Apr-2015 : Otmoor, Oxon (1 ten)

30-Jun-2014 : Tophill Low, E. Yorks (1)
24-Jun-2014 : Mesta River fishponds, Bulgaria
23-Jun-2014 : Sarnena River, Dospat, Bulgaria
21-Jun-2014 : Zhelezhari, Bulgaria
19-Jun-2014 : Susam Reservoir, Bulgaria
31-May-2014 : Wicken Wood, Bucks (3)
31-May-2014 : Salden railway cutting (1)
25-May-2014 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (1+)
25-May-2014 : Otmoor, Oxon (100+)
24-May-2014 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (c10)