Is it a dragonfly?

On our nature walk today we were lucky to spot this pretty Damselfly and luckily it rested long enough to capture this detailed image, in which to study later.  It first appeared to be a shade of brown in colour, however on closer inspection it has a striking green iridescent colour to its wings, thorax and abdomen. Admittedly I first thought it was a dragonfly, but a bit of research revealed it is actually a Female Banded Demoiselle, a type of Damselfly.  This raised the question, What is the difference between a Dragonfly and a Damselfly?  I was curious to find out as they do indeed seem very similar in appearance, but the name would definitely indicate they are different, so here’s what I found out.

Upon resting the Damselflies wings lay closed either side of its abdomen, whilst the dragon flies are open and extended like the wings of a plane. The Damselflies wings are narrower at the base, whilst dragonflies are broader.

In both species the eyes are large but the Dragonflies eyes wrap around the front and side of the face, whilst the Damselflies always have a gap between them.

Body (Abdomen)
The body of the Dragonfly appears large and chunky looking, whilst the Damselfly is more slender and dainty in appearance.

Banded Demoiselle

The image above shows a Banded Demoiselle Damselfly at rest, you can clearly see by the image its wings are laying parallel to its abdomen (a clear indicator it is a Damselfly).  Also in this image you can see the green iridescent colour of its thorax and abdomen and if you look closely at the top of its wings, just down from the tip is a tiny white fleck on both wings, this indicates it is a female. The male Banded Demoiselle’s body colour is a metallic dark blue/green and the wings are blue/black with a dark blue patch, which looks like a thumb print.

Sadly, we didn’t come across any dragonflies on our nature adventure today, but here are a few more images of some beautiful Damselflies we were lucky to meet.  These were very unpredictable and rapid in flight, which made them difficult to photograph, but here they are from a bit of a distance. I Hope you enjoyed this blog and like me have learned to differentiate Damselflies from Dragonflies.  Fingers crossed on our next adventure we will spot some Dragonflies, watch this space and happy exploring 🙂

This is difficult to identify, as the image not clear enough, but its either a Common Coenagrion or a Common blue Damselfly.


Large red Damselfly

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