“Get a room,” my friend Lauren laughed when we arrived at the Pond, noticing within moments dozens upon dozens of bluet damselflies readying to mate. The little pond is surrounded by a magnificent variety of vegetation however, the damselflies were only interested in perching on the cattail blades, in some instances three pairs per blade!

During mating, the male clasps the female by the neck while she bends her body around to his reproductive organs, forming a “mating wheel.” The damselfly photos here show the damselflies in the initial stages of mating.

There are no fewer than twenty different species of bluet damselflies in Massachusetts. One quick way to tell the difference between a damselfly and a dragonfly when out in the field is to look at the eyes. Dragonfly eyes are large and spaced very close together, whereas the eyes of damselflies are smaller and separated.

Cattail flowers are not bright and showy because they do not need to attract pollinators. Multiple tiny florets grow on the cylindrical-shaped stalk and are pollinated by wind. After releasing pollen, the flowers fall off leaving behind the spikes. The spike falls apart eventually to release the fluffy seeds, which are also disseminated by the wind. Clearly, the blades of Cat-O’-Nine-tails are useful to damselflies. The fluff is also wonderfully beneficial to songbirds, such as Red-winged Blackbirds, for lining their nests.

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