A new species of Odonata for our lists: a blue tailed damselfly (Ischnura elegans) spotted and photographed near the Dog Pond by Ian Bushell.
This is a mature male, easily identified. The female, which comes in five different colourways, is not so easy to identify but both male and female have a bi-coloured mark on each of their front wings. This is a pterostigma, a group of specialized, coloured and thickened cells that balance the wings and increase their efficiency, but are also of considerable help in identifying a species.
Blue-tailed Damselflies can manoeuvre each of their four wings independently; this makes them superb fliers. A recent study has shown that they can compensate for the loss of a whole wing and still catch prey .
They prey on small flying insects, catching them up by using their legs like a basket while they are flying, or snatching them from leaves. All Odonata are predators.
More damsel flies and dragonflies here: