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Damsels and dragons

Duration: 03:42

It's no surprise to discover that Wicken Fen is a wonderful place for dragonflies and damselflies. They aren't early risers, so you don't have to get up early to see them. Sunny days are the best time to see them. So, how do you tell a damselfly from a dragonfly? Damselflies rest with their wings along their back. Dragonflies hold their wings out to the side. Damselflies are also slimmer and smaller. The most beautiful damselflies are called demoiselles - such as the banded demoiselle, which is quite big. Bill Oddie thinks it is one of the most gorgeous insects. He meets dragonfly expert Ruary Mackenzie Dodds who tells him that these insects can fly at 15 metres a second (over 40mph). They are one of the most ancient forms of life, over 350 million years old, and survived the extinction of the dinosaurs.

Available since: Tue 25 May 2010

This clip is from

Bill Oddie Goes Wild Series 2, Wicken Fen

7/8 This edition comes from Wicken Fen, Britain's oldest nature reserve.

First broadcast: 18 May 2007

Image for Wicken Fen Not currently available on BBC iPlayer

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