Small Red-Eyed Damselfly

The Small Red-Eyed Damselfly (Erythromma viridium) is an insect in the Coenagrionidae family of damselflies, which are similar to dragonflies.

The Small Red-Eyed Damselfly has a long, cylindrical, slender abdomen with ten segments. It has membranous forewings and hindwings. It has compound eyes (like the eyes of house flies) and three simple eyes (ocelli) on its forehead, with small antennae. The joint between its head and prothorax is flexible, which enables the damselfly to swivel its head. 

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Red-Veined Darter

The Red-Veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) is an insect in the Libelludlidae family of dragonflies. It is also known as the Nomad Darter.

The male Red-Veined Darter has a deep-red abdomen with a red-brown thorax. Its eyes are brown above and blue-green below. Its wings have red veins and the base of its hind-wings (back wings) is yellow. The female is similar, but her abdomen is yellow-brown with two black lines along each side. Her wings have yellow veins. Both the male and female have black legs with some yellow markings.

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Southern Damselfly

The Southern Damselfly (Coenagrion mercuriale) is a medium-sized insect in the Coenagrionidae family of damselflies which are similar to dragonflies. It is also known as the Mercury Bluet.

The Southern Damselfly has a long, cylindrical, slender abdomen with ten segments. The male is bright blue with black markings. The female is less colourful. It has a mark on the second segment of its abdomen that resembles the symbol for the planet Mercury. It has forewings and hindwings which are similar in appearance and are membranous. It has compound eyes (like the eyes of house flies) and three simple eyes (ocelli) on its forehead. It has small antennae. 

The joint between its head and prothorax is flexible, which enables the damselfly to swivel its head. 

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Common Blue Damselfly

The Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum) is an insect in the Coenagrionidae family of dragonflies and damselflies. It is also known as the Common Bluet or the Northern Bluet. 

The Common Blue Damselfly has a long, thin, cylindrical beige to cream body with a light-blue head and a light-blue bulbous tail. Its wings are long and translucent. The male is blue with black markings, and the female can be varied in colour.

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Dragonfly Eyes

What do dragonfly eyes look like? 

The dragonfly has a large head with three small simple eyes and two extremely large compound eyes that meet in the centre.

Compound eyes have thousands of ommatidia – tiny, independent photoreceptors that have a cornea, lens and light-sensing cells. 

Compound eyes can’t see very well, but they can see all around them and they can sense movement, especially fast movement.

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Globe Skimmer Dragonfly

The Globe Skimmer Dragonfly (Pantala flavescens) is an insect in the Libellulidae family of dragonflies. It is also known as the Globe Wanderer or the Wandering Glider. 

The Globe Skimmer has a long, cylindrical body, two pairs of translucent wings, and a head with large eyes. The adult male has a reddish-yellow abdomen and the female has a yellow abdomen. It has a yellowish head. Its legs are black.

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Common Darter Dragonfly

The Common Darter Dragonfly (Sympetrum striolatum) is an insect in the Libellulidae family of dragonflies.

The Common Darter Dragonfly has a long, cylindrical body, two pairs of wings with black tips, and a head with large eyes. Its legs are black with a cream or yellow stripe. The male turns red as it ages. The female looks different from the male, because she has a light-yellow thorax and abdomen, which turns dark-brown with age.

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Common Winter Damselfly

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. 

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Emerald Damselfly

The Emerald Damselfly (Lestes sponsa) is an insect in the Lestidae family of slender damselflies. It is also known as the Common Spreadwing. It is similar to the dragonfly.

The Emerald Damselfly has a metallic green colour. Its body is long and cyclindrical. The adult male has a powder blue colour on the prothorax and near its tail. The adult male also has large blue eyes. The female lacks the blue colour. 

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Fallacy: Mayflies are only seen in May

Are Mayflies only seen in May?

No, Mayflies are not only seen in May. The belief that Mayflies are only seen in May is not true—it is a fallacy. 

The Common Mayfly (Ephemera danica) is seen in the Northern Hemisphere in May and June. Elsewhere in the world, mayflies are seen in other months.

The Mayfly is an insect in the Palaeoptera family of dragonflies and damselflies. It lives all over the world, near freshwater rivers, ponds, and lakes.

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Scarlet Dragonfly

The Scarlet Dragonfly (Crocothemis erythraea) is an insect in the Libellulidae family of dragonflies. It is also known as the Broad Scarlet or the Common Scarlet-Darter.

The Scarlet Dragonfly has a long, flattened abdomen. The adult male has a bright scarlet-red abdomen, red-veined wings, and small amber-gold patches at the base of its hindwings (back wings). The female has a yellow-brown abdomen and a pale stripe on the top of its thorax (chest).

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Common Picture Wing Dragonfly

The Common Picture Wing Dragonfly (Rhyothemis variagata) is also known as the Variegated Flutterer. It is an insect in the Libellulidae family.

The Common Picture Wing has four transparent and yellow wings with black markings. Its abdomen and head are dark-coloured with a green sheen. The female has more yellow on her hind-wings than the male. The male has no yellow colouring on his fore-wings.

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Banded Demoiselle Damselfly

The Banded Demoiselle Damselfly (Calopteryx splendens) is an insect in the Calopterygidae family of damselflies. 

The Banded Demoiselle has an iridescent dark blue-green body with greenish tinted, translucent wings. Each of its four wings has a wide brown band. Females have a metallic green or bronze body with greenish tinted wings, without the brown bands. The last three body segments are white, and are referred to as the ‘white rear light.’

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Red-Veined Dropwing Dragonfly

The Red-Veined Dropwing Dragonfly (Trithemis arteriosa) is a common insect in the Libellulidae family, found in most of Africa, western Asia, and southern Europe.

The Red-Veined Dropwing Dragonfly has a black-tipped bright red abdomen and head, with a purple sheen. Its eyes are deep red. It has red veins in its transparent wings with orange markings at the base of the wings. Females have similar markings, but its abdomen and face are yellow to yellowish brown.

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Damselfly and Dragonfly: what’s the difference?

What’s the difference between a Damselfly and a Dragonfly?

Both a damselfly (order Odonata, sub-order Zygoptera) and a dragonfly (order Odonata, sub-order Epiprocta) are insects.

A damselfly keeps its wings folded when it is resting, along or above the abdomen.

A dragonfly holds its wings flat, away from the body, when it is resting.

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