Today’s winner of the photography challenge was the damselfly that I managed to get a picture of as it was resting on a piece of wood in the backyard this afternoon.

Damselfly resting in the backyard

These guys belong to the same insect order (Odonata) as dragonflies, but are classified in a different suborder (Zygoptera). The main differences between the two groups are that damselflies have slimmer bodies, are smaller, and usually fold their wings along their body when they’ve stopped to rest.

Damselflies are beneficial insects to have around as they eat flies, mosquitoes, and other small insects (many of which we probably consider pests). After mating, the female will lay eggs in water (so it could be around vegetation that is partially submerged; or other water filled cavities (such as bromeliads in the trees in the tropics). The young damselflies (which are call nymphs), are carnivorous and feed on daphnia, mosquito larvae, and other small aquatic organisms.

The young will go through several molts, before the winged adult emerges. The damselfly also has a lifespan of about one to two years. It is possible that damselflies migrate, though most stay within a certain range of where they hatched. Damselflies aren’t as sensitive to environmental changes as dragonflies, but having both in the area usually means that the ecosystem is in good standing.

I did try to get a even closer picture of it, but when I moved to get a picture from the front it flew off. That is going to be a mini goal for the spring/summer/fall–try to get an even closer picture of a damselfly (and dragonfly).