Thursday, 25 September 2014

The Damselflies of Loch Caorach

Loch Caorach, the sheep loch, lies to the south of the road that leads to Ardnamurchan Point lighthouse.  It's one of the many stretches of water which is tucked into a valley that's higher than the surrounding landscape, so it's difficult to see unless one comes at it from a higher point - this view, which looks out towards the end of the peninsula, was taken from Beinn nan Ord.

When we visited it in late July the loch's southern shores were crowded with these damselflies.  They're emerald damselflies, Lestes sponsa, though their colour is hardly 'emerald' - the stone is usually a much deeper green - but this doesn't detract from the beauty of these insects.

The startling feature we immediately noticed was their piercing blue eyes.  There were dozens of them flying around, all within quite a confined area along the loch-side, and the reason rapidly became apparent.... this seemed to be a gathering place for courting.  And it was only when we started to watch the coupled pairs that we noticed that there were two slightly different colours.

As with many of the damselflies, the female is a distinct colour from the male  It was also noticeable that the females lack the males' startling blue eyes.  Along the banks of Loch Caorach there were far more males than females, which led to some lively competitive flying.


  1. How I envy your life with those lovely walks on the hills.
    Super pictures again, are use still using a Lumix, which model now?
    Thanks for my daily virtual visit to the peninsular.
    Regards Jeremy

  2. Many thanks for your kind comment, Jeremy. Yes, we are very fortunate to live in such a beautiful place, though at the moment we are enjoying a very different landscape, in Alberta, Canada. Still using the same camera, a DMC-FZ150, great machine. Jon

  3. I had to read that twice. On first glance I thought it said "dam-selfies" of loch caorach

  4. We're just back from a cruise, on which we were amazed to see people carrying around telescopic 'arms' which they could use to hold their phones to take selfies!

  5. Some great pictures Jon, what lens were you using?

  6. I use a Panasonic Lumix FZ150. My photographic skills, as such, depend on its almost miraculous technology. Jon