Damselflies are brightly coloured insects who, like dragonflies, are acrobatic masters of the air as they hunt for their prey.

Damselfly, courtesy of Karen Arnold Damselfly, courtesy of Karen Arnold

Damselflies are delicate and very thin, folding their wings back over their bodies when resting. You can sometimes spot clouds of them flitting over the water surface and amongst vegetation on sunny days. They feed mainly on mosquitoes, midges and larger insects.

The reed fringes of many of our canals and rivers provide excellent breeding sites and hunting grounds for damselflies. Our maintenance programme involves the creation and improvement of canal banks with damselflies in mind.

In the past, any work on canal banks would have involved steel sheet piles. Today, with our greater emphasis on habitat creation, soft banks are created either using coir roles or hazel faggots. This allows the growth of reed fringes, ideal habitats for many species of insects, particularly damselflies.

Last date edited: 12 November 2020