Foret de Pfynges Walk and a Damsel/Dragonfly Quiz

Today my wife, Judith, and I went for a walk around the Foret de Pfynges Nature Reserve which runs alongside the river Rhone. We had hoped to spot a few birds but, with the trees being so tall and canopy thick with foliage, in the event, we spotted everything but birds. We saw fish, frogs (or toads), butterflies, crickets and a couple of Coots. (OK, they are birds. but they were not exactly what we were looking for).

HOWEVER, we did see an awful lot of damselflies and dragonflies. So many in fact, I haven’t the time to look them all up, (and I’d probably get them wrong anyway). So I thought I’d throw them out there as a sort of quiz… (See pics Q1 to Q11). I know at least 2 people who may know quite a few (if not all?) of the answers.
(Vivienne – I bet you’ve been dying to test out that new book of yours. I see Question 10 is on the front cover…)

9 thoughts on “Foret de Pfynges Walk and a Damsel/Dragonfly Quiz

  1. Tricky stuff Mike. So many odonata can look similar with just a small difference between them. These are what I’m fairly sure of but who knows they might be different in the Alps.
    1, Female Azure Damselfly. (Coenagrion puella)
    2, Male Blue-tailed Damselfly. (Ischnura elegans)
    3, (possible) Male Black-tailed Skimmer. (Orthetrum cancellatum)
    4, Female Large Red Damselfly. (Pyrrhosoma nymphula)
    8, Female Beautiful Demoiselle. (Calopteryx virgo)
    9&10, Male Beautiful Demoiselle.
    The others I just can’t see enough detail.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Brian. I’ve added another 2 pictures of nos. 6 & 7 at the end, but I didn’t have another one of 5 nor 11 I’m afraid. Thanks again for taking the time to identify them. It’s much appreciated. I’m simply amazed at the variety of colours and how shiny and bright some of them look. You only get to see that when you zoom in on the photos.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Mike,  For some reason I can’t post comments on your blog at the moment, but here are my guesses for your dragon and damselflies. What an amazing collection! Goes to show what can happen when nature isn’t messed about with. Incidentally, I’ve found the Facebook group on British dragonflies very useful for ID, maybe there’s a similar group for European Odonata. None of the ID’s below are definitive, for sure, especially where those pesky blue damselflies are concerned. 1) Female banded demoiselle (they don’t develop the bands of the males, and certainly look very metallic)2) Either azure or variable bluet3) Male black-tailed skimmer4)  Large red damselfly5) Prob another black-tailed skimmer, though could also be white-tailed, they’re found in the same areas at the same time6) Azure bluet7) Female black-tailed skimmer8) Beautiful demoiselle – female9) Could be a beautiful demoiselle, but could also be a male western demoiselle – if so there would have been a tiny ‘light’ patch under the tail10) Beautiful demoiselle11) Female green-eyed hawker.  Fabulous. I’m very jealous! Cheers Viv


    • Many thanks Viv. I hope you enjoyed looking them up. I shall collate your answers with Brian’s and see which match. He wasn’t absolutely sure about some because the photos didn’t show enough detail, so I added 2 more images in case they helped. That was maybe why you could not Comment just now – perhaps the page was ‘locked’. I thought we might find 2 or 3 different ones, but I was certainly pleasantly surprised to capture so many different ones. Nature is incredible isn’t it? 😊


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