Willow emerald damselfly (Chalcolestes viridis)

The Willow emerald damselfly is a recent colonist, with numbers recorded increasing since 2009. It spends much of its time in the trees, laying its eggs into the bark of willow or alder. It can be found near ponds, canals and other still waterbodies that have overhanging trees. As with other damselflies, when Willow emeralds mate they form a ‘mating wheel’ in which the male clasps the female by the neck and she bends her body around to his reproductive organs. It is on the wing during August and September.
The Willow emerald damselfly is metallic green. The upper appendages of the males are distinctively pale cream with dark tips. Unlike other damselflies, emerald damselflies, including the Willow emerald, spread their wings at an angle to their body when at rest.

Seen in reeds by the the side of the lake in the gardens of Chiswick House in August 2020, 2021 and 2023



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