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Pond Damsels

 To learn more about the groups (genera) of Pond Damsels, click on the links at the right or in the menu.

family_pond_damselsPond damsels, also known as narrow-winged damselflies, are the most numerous group of damselflies found in the United States. Nearly half of all species of damselfly in the world belong to this one family. Most members of this family are small with a long, slender abdomen.

Narrow-winged damselflies come in a variety of colors, frequently blue, but sometimes red, yellow, green or purple. They usually have clear wings with short stigmas, but in a few species there may be an amber wash to the wing. Pond Damsels grow to an average of 1-2 inches or 25-50 mm long. Most have very colorful eyes, often with distinct "post-ocular spots" that can be used for identification.

Most Pond Damsels do frequent ponds, but many others inhabit lakes, bogs, streams and rivers. A few are very habitat-specific, being found only in coastal ponds or other specialized locations.

Females of many species in this family  may have two color forms, or morphs. One morph is the usual tan, olive, or brown that is easily distinguishable from the male's coloration.  This is the "heterochromatic" morph. The other morph, called "homochromatic", is very similar to the color of males. Males are often more brightly colored than females.

The Pond Damsel is one of the most common and easily observed types of damselfly. They can be seen perching obliquely or horizontally on low vegetation. They are weak fliers and tend to fly at low heights, making them easy to observe.

The females prefer to lay their eggs in ponds or slow moving water and do so in several ways.  Some oviposit while alone in low-lying vegetation, while others oviposit in tandem or with the male guarding from a nearby perch.

The larvae are long and slender. They are usually found clasping onto weeds near the edge of still waters where they ambush their prey.  Pond Damsel larvae emerge during the day. They swim towards the shore and generally emerge on shoreline vegetation such as cattails, but will often emerge on rocks or pieces of old wood.

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