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White-legged Damselfly: a damsel in distress

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White-legged Damselfly: a damsel in distress

The white-legged damselfly (Platycnemis pennipes) is one of our less well known damseflies, if any are well known other than by enthusiasts of course! It is an uncommon species found on some rivers in south east Dorset, notably the River Stour. In the United Kingdom it is very much a southern species, primariliy the south-east, and so the Dorset community is somewhat isolated. 

This is a species that thrives in open, slow moving muddy rivers and the lower stretches of the River Stour around Wimborne and north Bournemouth meets this criteria very well. They seem to be quite common here which belies their overall status. Overall, this is thought to be a species in distress and declining as they are very fond of dense riverside vegetation but our inclination seems to be to cut this back to tidy up and make a riverbank accessible for fishing.

You are most likely to see these damsels in June and July. Look for them in riverside nettle beds and other tall, dense vegetation. They are often found where the banded agrion occurs although the banded agrion is much more widespread than this species.

This species can be easily dismissed as a common blue damselfly but, when you take a closer look, it is much paler in colour generally and it does have white legs!


 

 

If you would like to see the complete series that this post is part of click here ---->
This nature note was written by ----> Peter Orchard
This nature nore was written ----> 3 years 4 months ago

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