That’s what I immediately thought of when I saw this Pincertail. It looks just like an Air Ambulance to me!

Small Pincertail

Small Pincertail

I think dragonflies are beautiful insects, and was delighted to learn a couple of weeks ago that they are also very useful to humans because they are a great devour of mosquitoes. I like them even more now! They are also incredible fliers as they hover, fly backwards, change direction mid air and of course they also mate whilst flying.

I did not see it emerge so don't know if the Nymph 'casing' belongs to this dragonfly

I did not see it emerge so don’t know if the Nymph ‘casing’ belongs to this dragonfly (is it a Blue Emperor?)

wpid-wp-1429617016549.jpegI love watching them, and we’ve seen quite a few in the Algarve when strolling beside rivers and lakes. Not always easy to photograph, but I am quite pleased with the four I have taken here.

They are found around the world, although Brazil seems to have most of them with over 1200 of the 5000 plus species that exist. One of their names in Brazil is helicóptero so it isn’t just me who thinks this! They have a few names in Portugal – their main name is Libélula but you may also come across tira-olhos (strip-eye), libelinha (damselfly) and apparently cavalinho-das-bruxas (horse-of-witches). I would love to know the significance of that last name and whether my translation is correct.

Portugal 218

If you too are fascinated by them and visit Portugal on a regular basis then you might want to consider buying The Dragonflies of Portugal (As Libélulas de Portugal).  If you already have a copy of the book or know your Algarvian dragonflies then please do let me know the names of the ones I have photographed, and likewise if you can explain the fourth Portuguese name (cavalinho-das-bruxas) then do leave a comment below.

I’d love to hear of any other names for these amazing creatures whether English, Portuguese or another language.