Archive | July 1, 2013

More Recent Photos: Some Common Damselflies of Ottawa

Rainbow Bluet

Rainbow Bluet

Although not as large as dragonflies, damselflies are just as showy and colourful when one takes a close look at them. And even though they are small, many can be identified based on colour patterns and the shape of their claspers without using a magnifying lens.

Damselflies belong to the suborder Zygoptera. They are slender-bodied insects with eyes set far apart, giving them a “hammer-headed” appearance. Most have a coloured eyespot on the back of each eye. The easiest way to tell a damselfly from a dragonfly is the way they hold their wings when perched: all four wings are usually held together alongside or parallel to the abdomen, while dragonflies hold their wings out at right angles like an airplane. The exception to this is the group known as spreadwings, which are slightly larger damselflies which hold their wings out at 45° degree angles when perching.

Continue reading