14. Common Winter Damsel – Sympecma fusca – European Dragonfly photo
The Common Winter Damselfly (Sympecma fusca) is so named because it can survive the cooler winter by resting tight against branches or under the bark of trees. Sometimes on milder sunny days they can be seen between November and March. Breeding takes place in both standing and slow flowing waters provided there is plenty of both bankside and floating vegetation into which the females lay their eggs. They emerge later in the summer, hibernate over winter sometimes quite a long way from their emergence site and mate during the following Spring. After a period of range contraction in Northern Europe expansion has resumed over the past couple of decades with a vagrant even recorded in the UK in 2008.
KEY I/D FEATURES
Drab brown colouration in both sexes makes this species quite difficult to see. The abdomen has dark bronze torpedo shaped markings on S3-6. The pterostigma are long and pale brown, with those on the forewings situated nearer to the end of the wings than those on the hindwings. There are broad pale stripes on the top of the thorax.