Paul Leyland – Large Red Damselfly

Paul writes: The first emergence of damselflies is one of the indicators, in the insect calendar, which show that the days are getting warmer. The Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) is usually the first to be seen and it has been gradually appearing over the last few weeks. This is my first for the year, which I found on Thursday at Lackford Lakes, a fantastic Suffolk Wildlife Trust Reserve, which has been transformed from former gravel workings. It is now a great wildlife oasis of lakes and woodland, so is ideal for birds and insects.

The Large Red is our largest damselfly at around 35mm long. It is also one of the most widespread and is common throughout the UK in most wetland habitats. I usually see them early in the morning when they will bask in a sunny spot whilst warming themselves up. This one was on a large stand of brambles not far from one of the lakes. The bright red body stood out against the green background, as I scanned around searching for interesting insects.

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