Damselfly (Large Red)
The Large Red Damselfly is an insect that has a long red abdomen with black markings. It is very common and widespread in England and can often be seen near slow-flowing rivers, canals, lakes and ponds, especially between April and September. It is not a very active damselfly as it often prefers to rest on vegetation around water rather than fly.
The Large Red Damselfly is about three centimetres in length with a rectangular-shaped head and two very large black eyes. The middle part of the body, called the thorax, is black with red stripes. Its abdomen has around ten to eleven segments and most of the segments are red with black bands, apart from the last three segments which are black with red bands. The Large Red Damselfly has six black legs and two pairs of transparent wings. The forewings and the hindwings are the same shape and size and are usually closed on top of the abdomen when the Large Red Damselfly is resting.
The eggs of the Large Red Damselfly are laid in plants just below the surface of the water and the larvae that hatch out of the eggs are called ‘nymphs’. The nymphs live in the water for a short while and then leave to develop into adults. Large Red Damselflies mainly eat small insects that can be found in vegetation.