Having looked through the internet recently looking for Willow Emerald Damselfly nymphs, I was kind of surprised to not find any at all. My search did reveal Emerald and Scarce Emerald Damselfly nymphs but this then gave me the idea to spend some time looking for my own to photograph. Perhaps they have not been photographed in Britain before and this indeed appears to be the case whilst looking through the internet. Having found a number of exuviae recently and seen a few emerging, I decided to have a go at some 'stream dipping' to see if I could catch any. At the site, there is a lot of floating weed and it wasn't long until I pulled in some weed and was going through it when a large sized Damselfly nymph could be seen. I immediately put it in a small tank I had with me with some river water and had a good look at it, noticing the main feature for Willow Emerald Damselfly which is the shorter labial mask which appears triangular in shape, the Emerald and Scarce Emerald Damselfly having a labial mask which resembles a tennis racket in shape. I decided to bring the nymph back home where I had already prepared the tank in the hope I would catch a nymph and spent an hour or so studying and photographing this first for me and who knows, first for Britain? After photographing the nymph, I have now put it in another tank with weed and river water and hope that I may be able to photograph it emerging. The only problem is that I am now afraid to go out in case I miss it and Sods law says that the only time I go out early, that it will emerge. The knowledge continues to grow and more learnt on this session about this damselfly species and how to identify them. Hopefully, weather permitting, a few visits out in the next week to see and photograph a few other species that are flying at the moment.
Willow Emerald Damselfly Nymph
Willow Emerald Damselfly Nymph Caudal Lamellae