With a few hours available last weekend, I made another trip to Westbere Lakes to do a bit of dipping to see what could be found. With the water temperature somewhat warmer than my last visit a week ago, I was hoping that the nymphs would have moved out of the depths and be around in better numbers. I spent a couple of hours trying in various dykes and ditches and managed to collect a dozen nymphs, mostly Variable and Azure Damselfly nymphs I suspect. After collecting them, I usually put them into a small plastic pot where I can study their features with my Optricron 10x hand lens. It was clear that the nymphs I had collected had 7 antennae and had dark spotting behind the eyes which immediately put them into the Variable / Azure bracket but with the caudal lamellae ranging from pointed to quite round and a mixture of both, it was again hard to be specific on the species. I returned most back to the water but took a few home where I photographed a few individuals in my indoor tank which show the features quite well I have mentioned. The caudal lamellae with this individual show a slightly pointed tip which would lead me to think this is probably an Azure Damselfly nymph but this feature alone, is not totally reliable. I shall continue during the next month or so seeing what I can find and photograph and hopefully make a visit to a friends pond to collect a few fully grown Large Red Damselfly nymphs which I shall monitor through to their emergence.With February here already, it won't be that long until the season is upon us.
Azure / Variable Damselfly Nymph