Common Winter Damselfly - Sympecma fusca

Scientific Name: Sympecma fusca.

English Name: Common Winter Damselfly.

French Name: Le Leste brun.

5 Key Characters:
  • Pale brown body with dark brown markings.
  • Drab and extremely well camouflaged so easy to overlook.
  • Thick straight dark brown lengthwise stripes on the thorax.
  • A medium sized damselfly (34-39mm long).
  • Can be seen in any month of the year.
Lookalikes: None really, but take care with pinky brown juvenile male Bluets and Featherlegs.

Habitat: Unpolluted, well-vegetated stagnant water, especially if there is floating vegetation - ponds, fish ponds (étangs), lakes, marshes, temporary pools, oxbow lakes. Sunny forest clearings, fallow land. A lowland species. The adults hibernate under stones, in dry grass, moss, litter, reeds and bark.

Flight Period: All year, but the peak is April and May. Juveniles, with their coppery sheen, are often very visible in the autumn.

Status: Common, but for this situation to continue lake water must be free of agricultural pollution, pisciculture must not be over exploited. The winter cutting of reeds, too dense a growth of riverbank trees and the destruction of forest undergrowth also impacts by reducing their winter hibernation sites.

More Info:
Common Winter Damselfly Sympecma fusca on Days on the Claise.

Photographed by Loire Valley Nature:

Photos are numbered from left to right and top to bottom. 1 February. 2-3 March.

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