The earlier pictures were taken on my wee compact Canon ixus 970IS, which involved sneaking up on the butterflies. This can be very frustrating when they fly off, but very rewarding when they don't!

Since 2012 I have been using a Panasonic Lumix FZ150, which allows me to zoom in to the butterflies from a couple of metres away.



Saturday, 5 September 2015

Cyprus Dragonflies and Damselflies

There was certainly no shortage of dragonflies and damselflies in Cyprus. This surprised me a little as I always imagine that they like wetland areas, but there must have been sufficient water for them somewhere.

Most the the dragonflies and damselflies below were seen flying around a small pool in the river feeding into Mavrokolympos reservoir. However, I also regularly saw them when I was out looking for butterflies nearer the villa and we had a resident dragonfly at the pool.

I had no idea about the identification of any of the pictures below, but I am very grateful to Noushka, who has a wonderful wildlife photography blog for identifying many of the dragonflies and damselflies on this page. I have also had a great deal of help from David Sparrow who runs dragonfly monitoring scheme across Cyprus. I have added the names as captions to the pictures.

Sympetrum fonscolombii male


Sympetrum fonscolombii female


The red dragonfly below is the same species as the one that took up residence at our swimming pool. Of course it may not have been the same red dragonfly I saw each day at the pool! This seemed to be quite a common species in Cyprus.

Trithemis annulata male


There were also some beautiful damselflies at the pool:

Calopteryx splendens, male


I wonder if the two below are male and female?

Calopteryx splendens female


Calopteryx splendens female


This one looks a little more like those I see back home in Scotland.

Ishnura elegans


Meanwhile, back at the villa, I saw this species most times that I went out to look for butterflies. I don't know where the nearest water was. Certainly the stream at the bottom of the valley was completely dry. 

Sympetrum fonscolombii female


The dragonfly below was certainly my favourite. The way the red merged into yellow on the abdomen gave the impression that it had been dipped in gold.

Sympetrum fonscolombii male


Towards the end of our holiday this blue dragonfly also took up residence at the pool. I naively thought that it was the same species as the red dragonfly (red for girls, blue for boys?), as they would briefly chase each other and then land at opposite corners of the pool. However, my theory was destroyed when I saw two blue dragonflies mating on our last day!!

Orthetrum chrysostigma, male


Thank you again to David and Noushka for their help with the identifications of these dragonflies and damselflies. David also informed me that I also had a picture of Orthetrum coerulescens below:


And David identified this fussy picture as a Magnificent Emperor, Anax immaculifrons:




8 comments:

  1. Great quality Nick. Dragonflies and Damselflies are an area I wish I could have investigated more, but I never did. I did find a good website, here:
    http://www.libellen.org/epallage/

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  2. This one is better:
    http://www.projectnoah.org/missions/429926024

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    1. Thanks Maria, Wow, I didn't realise there are so many different species to choose from! I will have to spend some time trying to identify what I saw.Thank you again for the links.

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  3. Hi Nick,
    1= Sympetrum fonscolombii male
    2= Sympetrum fonscolombii female
    3= Thrithemis annulata male
    4= Calopteryx male - most probably xanthostomaalthough not given in Cyprus in the Dijktra
    guide.
    5= Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis female
    6= Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis male
    7= Ishnura elegans
    8= Sympetrum fonscolombii female
    9= Sympetrum fonscolombii male
    10= Orthetrum caerulescens male

    Beautiful photos, congratulations!! :)

    Many thanks for your kind comments while I was away, Nick, I wish you an excellent weekend!

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    1. Wow Noushka, I didn't expect anyone to be able to name all ten of them!! Thank you so much for doing that for me.

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    2. You are very welcome, Nick, anytime :)

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  4. Hello Nick!:) Thank you for your visit. I'm as impressed as you are with Noushka's knowledge of dragonflies, and what a good selection you show here. Exciting finds Nck, and nicely photographed.
    Best Regards.

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    1. Thanks Sonjia, Yes, these blogs are great for sharing information. I would never have managed to identify them myself.

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