The Common Winter Damselfly (Sympecma fusca) is an insect in the Lestidae family of slender damselflies. It is similar to the dragonfly. It is related to the Emerald Damselfly.
The Common Winter Damselfly is distinct from other damselflies because it does not havea metallic green colour that is common in the Lestidae family, nor is it bright blue or red. It is pale brown. Its body is long and cyclindrical. The adult male often changes the colour of his eyes from brown to blue in winter, but the female lacks the blue colour.
It grows to about 4 centimetres (1.5 inches) in length. Its wingspan is about 2 centimetres (about 1 inch).
It is common across southern and central Europe. It is also found around the Mediterranean in Europe and North Africa.
It prefers to be near ponds and lakes, but not running or fast-flowing water. It likes to perch among reeds.
It is seen all year round, but mostly from July to the following May. In winter, it is often camouflaged in dry grass.
When it rests, it does not spread its wings like other damselflies in the Lestidaefamily. Instead, it rests with its wings alongside its body.
The female Common Winter Damselfly usually lays eggs in vegetation on the surface of pond water. The eggs develop over the next few weeks. The eggs hatch into larvae. Over two months, the larvae grow and become adult damselflies.
Location of photographs: Paris, France
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM