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Large red damselfly - Pyrrhosoma nymphula
Large red damselfly - Pyrrhosoma nymphula

Large red damselfly
The large red damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) is a species in the order true dragonflies (Odonata), the suborder damselflies (Zygoptera), the superfamily Coenagrionoidea, the family narrow-winged damselflies or pond damselflies (Coenagrionidae) and the genus Pyrrhosoma. The large red damselfly is common in most of Europe however it is absent in most of Scandinavia and in some parts of southern Europe. In Germany, it is one of the most common dragonfly species.
Pyrrhosoma nymphula
Pyrrhosoma nymphula
Adult Pyrrhosoma nymphula reach body lengths of 35 - 45 mm. Their bodies are bright red in colour. They have compound eyes. In the males, the upper part of the eyes is red in colour, while the lower part is whitish to yellow. In the females the eye colouration is paler. The thorax has black markings on its upper surface and on the sides. Young specimens of both sexes have yellow to bright red stripes on the surface of the middle segment of the thorax (mesothorax). In some females these stripes are paler - reddish-orange to yellow - and they can darken with age. The underside of the thorax is yellowish to whitish in both sexes.
Head and Thorax of the Large red damselfly
Head and Thorax of the Large red damselfly
The large red damselfly has wing spans of 40 - 70 mm. Their pterostigma and the markings on their legs are solid black. Due to their external appearance, the large red damselfly can be confused with the small red damselfly (Ceriagrion tenellum). The latter, however, has red legs. Confusion with Pyrrhosoma elisabethae is also possible. Here differentiation is possible on the basis of the abdominal appandixes.
The large red damselfly is non endangered but is nonetheless protected like all dragonflies. It is found in the lowlands and in the mountains and prefers habitats with standing or slow flowing waters such as streams, ditches, marshes, and lakes or ponds with dense marginal vegetation where it can hide. The large red damselfly appears from April to August and is one of the earliest species of dragonflies which can be observed in the course of the year. It is diurnal and feeds on insects.
Mating takes place in late spring or early summer in sunny weather. The fertilized females lay their eggs from the air while clinging to the male (tandem flight). The eggs are attached to plant parts located under the surface of the water.

Description of images / photos
Photography with Cameras
Nikon D3x, Nikon D300, Canon 50D
Image editing with Photoshop
1. Large red damselfly - Pyrrhosoma nymphula
2. Pyrrhosoma nymphula
3. Head and Thorax of the Large red damselfly
Sources, links and more informations
Large Red Damselfly in Wikipedia
Pyrrhosoma in species.wikimedia
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