Ischnura pumilio (Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly)

It took us a long time time to find some examples of these and then it required a little help from our friends. However, we finally did find the Latchmore Brook population in 2016.

Our second meeting came in 2021 in Cornwall when, this time unaided, we stumbled across a population at Chapel Porth. Being a discovery of our own, this was a little more exciting. The first I saw, I now realize, was a mature female but sadly it eluded my camera.

Interestingly, there used to be a population in our home county of Bedfordshire until “conservation” changed their habitat and they disappeared.

The males resemble I. elegans but are smaller and the tail light is shifted. The species has a strong preference for shallow water with little vegetation. The striking orange colour of the immature (aurantiaca) females is much sought after.

Id Notes

  • short bi-coloured pterostigmas, larger in fore-wing than hind-wing.
  • ♂ – blue or green coloured eyes and thorax.
  • ♂ – blue tail light shifted down (cf. I. elegans) on back half of S8 & S9.
  • ♀ – no tail light
  • ♀ – rather dull green when mature
  • ♀ – stunning orange when immature; the so-called aurantiaca phase.
teneral female</td
in tandem