Beautiful demoiselles

A couple of beautiful demoiselles (Calopteryx virgo), male and female, photographed near a stream in the Bavarian countryside.

A “Least Concern” on most of their range according to the IUCN Red List, these stunning damselflies are however considered endangered in parts of Europe. In Germany, Switzerland and Austria, their prefered habitat―medium-sized, swift waters generally in hilly or mountainous regions―is shrinking due to land conversion for agricultural or logging activities.

Demoiselles belong to the same family as dragonflies―the Ordonata. One way to distinguish them from one another is to observe the position of their wings when at rest: if held apart, it is a dragonfly; if kept closed together as shown on the above picture, it is a damselfly.

Location: Bayreuth, Germany

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