Having studied and photographed the Willow Emerald Damselfly in Kent since 2011, I had obviously realised like other dragonflies and damselflies, that they go through a period of maturing where they can change colour dramatically. For some species like the female Common Darter, they can over mature where they change colour from yellow to dark brown with age but for a lot of species, they simply mature up and stay the same colour throughout their flight season. As if the Willow Emerald Damselfly is not already unique enough, their long flight season which starts in early July and can go through to mid November can see them change colour a number of times, maybe more than any other species? Although I have taken many hundreds of photos of this species, its only been in the past few years that I have realised that this species appears to change colour four times through the season. From subtle shades of green at emergence through to bright greens and yellows and as the season progresses, shades of gold and blue appear that compliment their surroundings well. These changing colours through the season make them an ideal target for the photographer and as you will probably be aware, they are one of my favourite species to study and photograph. Much is still to be learnt about this damselfly and hopefully, as they continue to expand their range, others will be able to see and appreciate this most stunning damselfly. Their season may nearly be over but with that, I hope that many observers will spend some time during the winter looking for the gall marks in the trees where they have laid their eggs. There are bound to be new areas where these tell tale signs can be seen which will continue the success story of this species.
Willow Emerald Damselfly - Newly Emerged (Early July)
Willow Emerald Damselfly (Late July / August)
Willow Emerald Damselfly (August / September)
Willow Emerald Damselfly (October / November)