IUCN threat status:

Near Threatened (NT)

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All damselfly larvae live in water, where they breathe through external gills (6). The larvae are opportunistic hunters, feeding on a wide range of invertebrates (4). They capture their prey by stalking it until they are sufficiently close to shoot out their labium (lower jaw), which bears hinged hooks to impale the prey and drag it back into the damselfly's mouth (4) (6). Near the end of their larval life, the larvae stops feeding and moves to a plant, rock or other substrate and begins to breathe air (4) (6). The adult body bursts through the larval skin, the wings expand and harden, and the insect takes its first flight (6). Unlike many damselflies, the four-spot midget does not leave the site in which they emerged, and instead will stay in the reed community where they will spend their entire adult life (5). Adult four-spot midgets can be seen flying about their habitat from late May to early August (5). Like the larvae, the adults are generalized, opportunistic feeders (4), which prey on smaller flying insects, such as midges and mosquitoes (2). The four-spot midget is a weak flyer, and adopts a sit-and-wait tactic when searching for prey or mates (5). Its weak flying abilities, along with its small body size and bright colouration, especially of the males, may mean it is particularly vulnerable to predation. The average lifespan of this damselfly is estimated to be around 35 days (5).


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© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

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