The Swamp Bluet (Coenagrion lyelli) is a medium-sized blue damselfly, an insect similar to a dragonfly, in the family Coenagrionidae. They live across the globe in most climates, near streams, pools, and lakes.
The Swamp Bluet male is bright blue with black markings. The abdomen is long and slender with ten segments.
It has compound eyes (like house flies) and three simple eyes (ocelli) on their foreheads. It has a small antenna.
The joint between head and prothorax is flexible, which enables the damselfly to swivel its head.
The Swamp Bluet has forewings and hindwings, which are similar in appearance and are membranous. The wings are strengthened and supported by longitudinal veins that are linked by many cross-veins and that are filled with haemolymph (a liquid like blood).
The Swamp Bluet eats flies, mosquitoes, and other small insects. They use vision and smell to catch their prey. Birds, fish, frogs, spiders, beetles and other animals eat the damselfies.
Like dragonflies, the mating pair of damselflies form a shape known as a “heart” or “wheel.” The female lays eggs within plants.
They are hemimetabolous insects, which means that they have no pupal stage in their life cycle. The life cycle is: eggs to larvae (nymphs) to adult damselfly. The young damselflies (nymphs) are aquatic, living near ponds, lakes and rivers. The nymphs moult repeatedly to undergo metamorphosis. The skin splits down the back, and they emerge and inflate their wings and abdomen to gain their adult form.
Their presence on a body of water indicates that the water is relatively unpolluted.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM