"A Livelier Emerald Twinkles In The Grass"

This isn't just any old emerald damselfly, it's a Willow Emerald Damselfly. I was trudging through the reeds when I spotted it near the Amwell Nature Reserve Dragonfly Trail. 

I've misidentified a spreadwing before so was delighted to meet a couple of Hertfordshire recorders on the raised walkway who identified it for me and told me its story.

The first ever Willow Emerald was seen in Hertfordshire only a year ago not far from where I shot mine. They lay their eggs in crevices in the bark of willows and other soft-barked trees overhanging water. The eggs overwinter and hatch the next spring. Out of the egg comes the legless, smooth and very light prolarva. It is capable of jumping, something it must do should it have fallen not into but near water. This prolarva stage takes a short time only. Some damselflies moult within a few seconds. In the Willow Emerald Damselfly it takes the animal several minutes to moult for the first time. The nymph usually hunts at the bottom of the watercourse and grows incredibly fast, after some 3 months a new adult may appear. 

That was my second bit of excitement of the day, the third was stealing a shot of a guy doing a photoshoot of two pretty girls by the lake. The first was getting a pic in good light of that gorgeous Little Owl with its funny eyebrows that I have photographed before sitting in the chimney of the lodge of the All Nations College. :)

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