Two by two
Digging a pond is one of the very best things you can do for nature on your doorstep. Just ask Cornish photographer Ross Hoddinott, who took this iconic summer image of a male and female emerald damselfly glistening with dew beside a pool he created as a boy with his dad. “It’s so satisfying to see the wildlife it now supports,” he says. Emerald damselflies are among the many species that favour the reeded, rushy margins. These metallic-looking insects often perch like this with wings spread, rather than closed along their bodies like most damselflies. The extreme macro of the shot and careful lighting reduced the reedy background to this vibrant contrasting yellow.
Emerald damselflies begin to appear in earnest in July, though numbers often peak towards the end of summer, later than many other damselflies. “In my experience, they are quite social,” says Ross. “They can roost close together overnight. But finding two sharing the same perch like this is pretty unusual.”
Seen from above, emerald damselflies are dazzling green, but males have powder-blue thorax sides while those of females are orange-buff. Look carefully, and you’ll notice that females also have a thicker body. The impressive spines on their legs help them to hold their prey tight.
This July take part in Dragonfly Challenge 2018. For details go to: www.british-dragonflies.org.uk