THE ID GUIDE
Dragon or damsel? First, work out if you’re looking at a damselfly or a true dragonfly. That’s not too difficult: Body shape: Damselflies look like matchsticks – true dragonflies are much chunkier. The wings: When they settle damselflies fold their wings along their back (except the Emerald damselflies – theirs stick out at about 45 degrees). True dragonflies hold their wings at right angles to the body. The eyes: Look for a gap between the eyes on a damselfly. On true dragonflies the eyes touch (with one exception in this country – the Club-tailed Dragonfly, but you’re not very likely to see one of those!) In flight: Damselflies are weak and fluttery, but very good at manoeuvring around vegetation; true dragonflies are strong, powerful fliers.