New damselfly at Flitton Moor!

March 14, 2021

In 2016 we spotted an unusual looking damselfly here on the Moor.  After a visit by the county dragonfly and damselfly expert it was confirmed as being a willow emerald damselfly.

Willow emeralds used just to be found in mainland Europe but they were recorded in the UK for the first time in Suffolk about 10 years ago.  Since then they have been spreading out.  The sighting here at Flitton Moor was the first to be positively confirmed in Bedfordshire.

The willow emerald damselfly is quite large for a damselfly – 4-5cm long and is metallic green in colour.  Like all the emerald damselflies it is unusual in sitting with its wings held out at an angle to the body (all other damselflies hold their wings back along their body).  They fly late in the season, during August and September, but some may still be about in October.

They are unusual in that they lay their eggs into the bark of willow or alder trees that are overhanging water, leaving little scars in the bark that are very distinctive.

Sue Raven, The Greensand Trust

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