Blue Featherleg – White-legged Damselfly – Platycnemis pennipes – UK – European Dragonfly photo
The Blue Featherleg – White-legged Damselfly ( Platycnemis pennipes ) get its name like the rest of the family from legs which have long bristles on widened tibiae making them look like feathers. All are non-metallic in colour and have wide heads. Their habitat throughout their range includes many types of water, from lakes to man-made canals, gravel pits, rivers and smaller streams. In the U K this species seems confined to moving waters and its range appears to be extending northwards having been found on the River Dee in Cheshire for the first time in 2007. Elsewhere it can occupy open standing waters which tend to be large and which, if blessed with copious emergent and edge vegetation, can produce large populations. Shady and acidic conditions are not tolerated.
KEY I/D FEATURES :
Males become all pale blue with the black markings on Segments 7-10 split by a narrow central line. The thorax appears to have two pairs of antehumeral stripes. The hind tibia are conspicuously white.
Females are even paler, appearing almost as white as tenerals with few black markings but they become more creamy and have more extensive black markings when mature.