The curiously named Variable Bluet/Damselfly – curious because most Coenagrions exhibit a certain amount of variability in their markings.
We made our inaugural trip to the excellent Wicken Fen rather late in the 2011 season. I was hoping to see my first Variable Damselfly and lo, it delivered. We found a pleasing flush of these characters on our return to Norfolk after many years in 2013, pleasing because they are not a species that features locally. More recent pictures are from the Norfolk Broads area, which seems to be very rich in C. pulchellum.
[I have a collection of comparison charts to help with the identification of the blue-striped damselflies.]
- bears the Coenagrion “spur” on the side of the thorax
- ♂ – antehumeral stripes are classically broken resembling exclamation marks
- ♂ – S9 more than half black
- ♂ – black mark on S2 resembles a stemmed wine glass (but the stem can be missing, apparently)
- ♂ – black mark on S9 resembles a vampire bat (perhaps a little fanciful)
- ♀ – two forms, green/dark/gynomorph and blue, best distinguished from congeners by the pronotum shape [Ed: good luck!]
|female – blue/andromorph form|
|female – dark/green/gynomorph form|
|female pronotum details|
|in tandem||in cop|