Dragonflies evolved around four hundred million years ago, before the age of dinosaurs and still with us today virtually unchanged, except for one important factor.

For, all those years ago, dragonflies boasted a wingspan of about eighteen inches and a major reason for controlling their size was that the oxygen content in the atmosphere was much denser than it is now so all creatures could attain a greater size.

Then there are the comparative new kids on the block namely the dainty damselflies which appeared only three hundred million years ago!

They differ from the more robust fast-flying highly mobile dragonflies being slender bodied, earning them the ancient nickname 'Devil's darning needles.' Whereas the wings of dragonflies are positioned at right angles to their bodies damselfly wings are held roof-wise over their backs.

There are about fifteen species of damselflies in Britain.

In midsummer, swarms of azure and common blue damselflies can be seen congregating just above the surface of well vegetated ponds.

My favourite insect is the comparatively large banded demoiselle. It frequents slow moving streams and rivers and is rarely found in still water bodies.

The photograph shows the handsome male whereas the female is a beautiful iridescent shimmering bright green.

They feed on small flying insects and eggs are laid underwater. The nymphs live for two years.