Blue Damselfly Austrolestes colensonis

We have dozens of Blue & Red Damselflies zipping about, below the house, where the Millstream meanders out of the tall, shady banks & into sunshine. They are both native to New Zealand, & common. They are similar, but smaller than Dragonflies, & hold their wings folded up, rather than open, when stationary. Interesting facts include:

  • that to regulate their body temperature they can change colour, going darker to receive more warmth  (remember the theory of black boxes? no, neither do I, but I know they get hotter.)
  • 80% of their brain power is devoted to processing visual images, how do they work that out? the adults catch & eat other flying insects, & chase other Damselflies from their territory.
  • The immature nymphs live in the water, & swim by wriggling. They have 3 tail whiskers. We often find them in the fish pond when we clean it out.

We occasionally see the large Dragonflies around our big pond, they are awesome to watch, but fairly rare visitors alas.