Copyright  Alice Starmore

Meet Pyrrhosoma nymphula, also known as the Large Red Damselfly. Large is a relative term in the damselfly world, since the abdomen of Pyrrhosoma nymphula is no larger than a small darning needle. To photograph them requires patience and either the finest telephoto lenses or stealth and dexterity. I rely on the latter. Having roamed the Lewis moor since childhood I have acquired the knack of getting up-close and personal with all manner of moorland fauna. In the case of this pair of Large Red Damsels it was very close and very personal indeed, for when I photographed them on 1st July 2007 they were just a few inches from my hand. As I took the sequence of shots I believe I captured a world scoop – the first recorded instance of completely submerged oviposition in Pyrrhosoma nymphula.


Guarded by the male, the female starts to submerge

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