Thursday, 26 June 2014

Dance of the Demoiselle !!!

The River Darent is a shallow slow running river with lush bankside vegetation.

 Perfect conditions for the Banded Demoiselle.

This is one of the largest Damselflies, along with its cousin, the Beautiful Demoiselle.

The Banded Demoiselle appears to be more common than the Beautiful Demoiselle, which I am still yet to see.

The male Banded Demoiselle takes up position on the overhanging vegetation or a suitable stand of nettles, usually in a sunny area, where they wait for a female to show.

The males are unmistakable with a metallic blue green body, translucent wings with a dark blue black spot near the end of its wings.

The females are a beautiful metallic green with bronze tint to the wings. 
There is also a small white spot near the end of each wing.

The females tend to avoid going near the water until they are ready to lay their eggs, or looking for a mate.

Their eggs are laid in emergent or floating vegetation, 
sometimes completely submerging.

If you can find a suitable vantage point to watch them, you will see as a female comes on to the scene, the males leave their vantage points and crowd around the female, fluttering like a butterfly, rising and falling  desperate to impress the female with their display flight.

I witnessed at least five males fluttering around one female, each time a female flies near the water, the males appear as if from nowhere.

Dancing Demoiselles
I'm yet to see the final selection !

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