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Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum

The Common Blue Damselfly is another abundant species. And it is very similar to the Azure Damselfly. The two species can be told apart easily though when resting. Looking from above pay attention to the marking on the 2nd segment. The marking on the Common Blue Damselfly looks like a toadstool, the marking on the Azure Damselfly looks like a U or horse shoe. When looking at the side of the animal we see the Common Blue Damselfly has just one black line on the thorax, where all other damselflies have two. The light parts are always blue in males. In females however the light parts may be blue, green, brown or yellow. Generally the animals measure some 30 to 36 mm, reaching a wingspan of up to 38 mm. This means they are about the same size as the Azure Damselfly.

Males grab the females to make a mating wheel. The eggs are laid in this position too. Females put the tip of their tail under water to deposit the eggs on the stem of a plant just below the surface. They do not go underwater entirely, like the females of some other species do. The nymphs eat small underwater creatures. They climb up the stem of a plant above the surface to mould into the adult damselfly. In Soutern Europe two breeds a year occur. In Britain and most of Northern and Central Europe there is one breed a year, even though in many cases the larva overwinters under water, meaning there is one breed every two years.

This species is very common all over Europe and may be abundant at certain locations. Adults are seen from the end of April to the end of September, but the species is most numerous in June, July and August. In the bottom picture are two species. On the left a very young Common Blue Damselfly being eaten by an equally young Blue-tailed Damselfly.