I spent an hour or so after work last week at Nethergong where the target was to see whether I could find any Emerald Damselfly exuviae to add to my growing collection. After what seemed an age looking, I finally managed to find a few and within a few minutes, had collected 4. I found once I got my eye in, the dark banded caudal lamellae showed out quite well against the green vegetation. Before I left, I had a quick dipping session in the same area and found a few well grown Emerald Damselfly nymphs and decided to take two home and see whether I could photograph an emergence of this species. I checked the pond on Friday night about 8pm and could see that one nymph had already climbed out onto a reed and hoped that it would emerge. I spent the next hour laying at the pond trying to get a good angle on the nymph, checking camera settings etc and around 9.30pm, the nymph started to emerge. By now it was quite dark but with a bit of added light, I was able to take a number of photos of the emergence. To get a better angle, I moved a few times which worked out quite well and provided a nice natural background contrast with the nymph emerging. I know I have mentioned this a number of times but it really is quite a pleasure watching the emergence right in front of your own eyes and being able to study every detail as it happens. By 10.45pm, the Emerald Damselfly had emerged and was resting next to the exuviae (which I collected the next morning) and I called it a night there and retired indoors. My job was not done yet however and I was up early Saturday morning where I collected the nymph which had now coloured up and drove over to Nethergong where after a few photos, I released her where I had collected the nymph from. I returned this morning in the rain and had a walk along the stream edge where I noted c10 teneral Emerald Damselfly sitting low down in the reeds. Nice to know they are emerging now and fingers crossed, next weekend may deliver my first Willow Emerald Damselflies of the year.
Emerging Emerald Damselfly (Lestes sponsa)
Teneral female Emerald Damselfly (Lestes sponsa)