Large Red Damsel – Large Red Damselfly – Pyrrhosoma nymphula – UK – European Dragonfly photo
The Large Red Damsel – Large Red Damselfly ( Pyrrhosoma nymphula ) was to be my first introduction to the Odonata as I mentioned in my Home page. I still think it is one of the most beautiful damselflies. This one of the most common species but limited to Europe and the northern African countries. It is often the first to emerge in the Spring and breeds in many types of water, both acidic and rich in nutrients – even in my hard-edged garden pond! There are several female forms and the species can be subject to mite infestations as shown in the fourth photograph. Malformation perhaps at emergence or due to attempted predation is shown in one of the teneral female photographs.
KEY I/D FEATURES :
Males have red eyes, broad red antehumeral stripes and all red abdomens with black markings on Segments 7-9. The antehumeral stripes are yellow before maturity. The pterostigma appear black and from the side the thorax has a yellow base. The legs are black.
Females come in several forms relative to the amount of red and black colouration on the abdomen. The fifth photograph is of f.typica and the sixth of f.melanotum.