Late Willow Emeralds
By Adrian Parr:
The Willow Emerald Damselfly (pictured above) – a recent colonist to Britain – is a late season species, and is typically the last damselfly to be seen on the wing each year. This year, the benign autumn has resulted in a number of unusually late sightings, with reports even from Bedfordshire on 21 November and both Kent and Hertfordshire on 22 November. These are the latest-ever sightings in the UK, by over a week. If the weather continues to hold, it will be interesting to see if any more reports are received; in the Netherlands the latest date is apparently 26 November, not far off a December record for a damselfly! So get out there and look – and don’t forget that the species can still be recorded from its characteristic egg scar tracts (pictured below), even when adults have finally finished flying.
Header image: Male Willow Emerald Damselfly by Marc Heath