Today I was lucky enough to have the great privilege of witnessing a Damselfly that had just emerged from its larval stage, for the very first time. I was sat by the pond with a cup of tea, watching the newts when I suddenly noticed a pale object dangling in the grass on the other side. When I looked closer I realised it was a brand new Damselfly! As you probably know well by now, I love Dragonflies and Damselflies so this was a great wonder to me.

After emerging from its larval skin the fresh Damsel had to wait until it was ready to move off. At first it looked quite stumpy and pale:


Within about 20 minutes it was already looking longer as it redistributed its bodily fluids into its new shape:


I left it in peace for a while and roughly 2 hours later I checked how it was doing. I have to admit I was nervous a bird might grab it and was feeling quite protective! On my return I saw how much it had changed, looking more like a ‘normal’ damsel. The wings were longer and the black veins were showing. The abdomen was longer and thinner and more colourful. And the stripes on the thorax were now black and yellow, rather than mostly brown.


It had become a little more active now and climbed up a bit while I was watching, from where was hanging before, so I got another shot from this angle:


I decided to leave it in peace again but couldn’t resist a quick check a couple of hours later. I found the exuvia (larval skin) where I had last seen it:


And not far away my beautiful new Large Red Damselfly was relaxing on a Dandelion leaf in the sunshine 🙂

IMG_3625-Edit IMG_3620-Edit

So chuffed to have been able to witness this, and in my own garden too! Brilliant 😀

I’m going to put this into the Weekly Photo Challenge: Face because that face at the end is just adorable 🙂

By Suzy Shipman

I like to take photos and write words ...


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