Pyrrhosoma nymphula (Sulzer, 1776)
Common name: Large Red Damselfly
Preferred environment: streams, small pools and lakes; generally prefers acid sites often with little or no open water.
Flight period: mid April to end of September according to locality. May to mid August in Ireland.
Adult habitat and habits: immature adults mature away from breeding sites for 2 weeks. Males defend perch near breeding site against rival males and attempting to gain females. Mating occurs in vegetation.
Oviposition site and behaviour: females oviposit in tandem.
Larval habitat and habits: eggs hatch 2-3 weeks after laying. Development takes 2 years, with final instar larvae in diapause over second winter. Larvae are bottom dwellers amongst plant debris and vegetation. Diet consists of insect larvae, protozoa, rotifers and micro-crustaceans, with later instars taking more insect larvae. Larvae are territorial.
Range: Europe except extreme south of Italy and Greece, and northern half of Fennoscandia, and Asia. Throughout Ireland.
Determination of adults: species is keyed and male abdominal appendages are figured in Askew (1988); mature adults are illustrated in colour in Askew (1988) and Brooks (1997).
Determination of larvae: keys to mature larvae in Askew (1988) and Brooks (1997). Photograph of mature larva in Brooks (1997).
|Nelson, B., Thompson, R. & Morrow, C., 2000 (May 2). [In] DragonflyIreland http://www.ulstermuseum.org.uk/dragonflyireland/|