D is for Dragons and Damsels

The River Stour is one of the best places in Dorset to see dragonflies and damselflies.

Dragonflies and damselflies spend the first years of their lives as nymphs, in rivers and ponds. In spring they climb the stems of waterside plants and the adult emerges, leaving the nymph skin behind.

Banded demoiselle damselfly (male)

Azure damselfly

Scarce chaser dragonfly (male)

Scarce chaser dragonfly (female)

Emperor dragonfly (male)

How do you tell a dragon from a damsel?

  • Resting dragonflies hold their wings open.
  • Resting damselflies fold their wings flat against their body.
  • Damselfly eyes are always separate.
  • Dragonfly eyes almost always touch.