Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula)

This damselfly had recently emerged from my garden pond and was drying its wings in preparation for a new life in the air. The huge eyes are known as compound eyes with thousands of lenses in each one, allowing it to see in all directions. Damselflies spend most of their life under water as larvae, feeding on midge larvae and other tiny aquatic animals. After two years they transform into flying adults but only survive for 1 to 4 weeks.

Damselflies and dragonflies belong to the Order Odonata. There are 11 species of damselfly found in Ireland.

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