After netting a few Willow Emerald Damselfly nymphs at the weekend, I decided to bring a couple back home with me to the pond to see whether I could photograph them emerging. They looked fit to burst so I thought I would not have that long to wait. I carefully put them at the base of a couple of reeds where one immediately stayed in the shallows. A check of it on Monday and Tuesday morning saw it just beneath the surface where it was no doubt changing over the breathing from water to air. Having annoyingly caught Covid again, I was home from Tuesday where I kept on monitoring the situation. It wasn't until very late on Tuesday night around 11:15pm that I checked to see the nymph had already left the water and looked likely to emerge. I set about getting all the equipment ready and then settled in on a blanket at the pond and waited and waited and waited. At just after midnight the miracle of transforming from the nymph to damselfly started and I was able to once again view this spectacle and capture every stage with the camera. In just under and hour the damselfly was fully emerged with wings fully inflated. It continually amazes me that whilst most people were asleep, this piece of natural magic was happening unknown to everyone. At just after 1am I decided to call it a night and after collecting the damselfly and storing it in a mesh container for the night I went off to bed content... but with still a quite high temperature, sore throat and annoying cough. I was up early the next morning where I drove over to Nethergong and released the damselfly back into its correct habitat where hopefully it will help enhance the next generation. It was then back home for me to rest up for the day. Hopefully I will be well enough for a visit out over the weekend to see what is about. I have put the times under the photos to show the real time that it takes this species to emerge.
Willow Emerald Damselfly (Chalcolestes viridis) - female emerging