December 12, 2017

Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella)

Sooner or later I’m going to run out of beautiful posterboy species but definitely not just yet.

Azure Damselflies are pretty special beasts. The males are a piercing blue and the females a slightly less predator attention grabbing green, but for me the amazing thing is how slender they are. They dash around on a blur of inadequately flimsy wings with chopper pilot bravado, and at any moment I almost expect them to simply break apart with the effort of it all.

I filmed a large group of perhaps twenty or so pairs laying their eggs (ovipositing) in tandem. Each male clasped to a female’s thorax as she dipped the tip of her abdomen below the pond’s surface, leaving a single egg with each splash. Apparently they prefer to oviposit ‘en masse’ as a defense strategy, employing the same technique as other tasty looking creatures by presenting a confusingly large number of individuals.

So, options paralysis, the ‘slacker’ affliction which means that when you’re presented with a multitude of choices you inevitably choose none, clearly works to some species’ advantage elsewhere in the animal kingdom.

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  1. […] first part of this film features an earlier SOTD post the Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella) but the really good stuff in the second half features L. depressa the Broad Bodied Chaser, […]