Last weekend whilst at Nethergong looking for Willow Emerald and Emerald Damselflies without much success, I decided to see whether I could find any nymphs of the mentioned species to see whether they were close to emergence. I spent a while netting in the stream where I managed to find a few fully grown Willow Emerald and Emerald Damselfly nymphs. By now, the Emerald Damselflies are normally on the wing but I have only seen one so far, so was a bit concerned for them but it appears that they are yet to emerge and seem to be just a little late this year. I decided to collect two of each species to take home and put in the pond where I would hopefully monitor them over the next few evenings to see whether I could photograph and emergence. On Tuesday evening, I went out to check the pond at dusk and could already see one of the Willow Emerald Damselfly nymphs out of the water on a stick. Its not the most photogenic to emerge on but it obviously suited the nymph as it was quite sturdy and stable which was the most important think. I gathered the equipment together and set it up at the pond along with something to lay on and my trust flask. I kept on checking the nymph which seemed quite happy resting up but at 22:45pm, I decided to stay outside and hope that I would see and photograph an emergence. Yet more time passed but at 23:45pm, the nymph started to emerge and the next hour was spent photographing the different stages of the emergence. I really look forward to seeing this species every year so it was a superb treat so early in their season to be able to witness this magical secret moment of the natural world. I'm hoping to be able to photograph an Emerald Damselfly emerging soon as well as more Willow Emerald Damselflies. I returned the Willow Emerald Damselfly today to Nethergong where after a photo session, he flew off high into the trees to mature up.
Willow Emerald Damselfly (Chalcolestes viridis) - Male Emerging
Willow Emerald Damselfly (Chalcolestes viridis) - Teneral Male with Exuviae