Tenerife Scene of the week the Canarian Dragonfly

We’ve opted for a very different image for scene of the week. Partly because it breaks up all those epic vistas and partly because dragonflies on Tenerife are just so incredibly vibrant.

There are apparently 11 species of dragonflies in the Canary Islands, but not being an expert on the subtle differences between them I’m not going to make an idiot of myself by trying to name this one.

Superstition across much of Europe in the past led to dragonflies being treated with suspicion and being branded as evil. It seems incredible to me that a creature of such beauty has been such a victim of bad PR.

They’re a common sight on Tenerife – wander near reservoirs or any still water and the air is alive with flame red, electric blue and neon green specimens of this exotic creature. Despite seeing them nearly every day, I struggle to take a decent photograph as they zip and dart about furiously like bi-planes involved in a dog fight. But this week this guy lingered long enough for me to capture him.

Wonderful isn’t he?

7 Comments

  1. Hmmm, how do we tell if it’s a he or a she? I thought maybe a he, because of the whole in-nature-males-are-more-eyecatching business.

  2. Hi a bit late for a reply, but the Dragonfly in question is a Scarlet Darter. You don’t get them in the UK but we have some close relatives, namely the Common Darter and the Ruddy Darter (though neither as quite as red as this)

  3. Hi Lloyd, better late than never. Thanks for that information; it’s very useful for us to know. There are also electric blue and bright green…I don’t suppose they would be called green and blue darters would they?

  4. What size are these ?

    If they are much bigger then it could be the Emperor (the males are Blue the females are green) but they are much bigger than the scarket darter

  5. It is a he and you can tell because only the males are red. Just like with with many birds the males are the flamboyant ones. The female of the species illustrated is a yellowish colour. It is the Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea), by the way.

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