Damsels and dragons

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.

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