Shropshire Dragonfly Watch BlogKeeping an eye on the dragonflies flying in Shropshire

Common Darter male

The purpose of this blog is to keep dragonfly enthusiasts up to date with dragonfly activity throughout the season. This way we should all know first hand what’s on the wing in Shropshire.

 

All are very welcome to be part of this seasonal diary. Get in touch at  info@shropshiredragonflies.co.uk with sightings and photographs so I can post them on the blog. Even if you’re new to dragonflies and not sure what you have photographed please send it in and get involved in the 2019 Shropshire Dragonfly Watch.

More sightings of Small Red-eyed Damselfly

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Mick Richardson has sent in some stunning photos including yet another sighting of our new Shropshire species for 2019; Small Red-eyed Damselfly. Mick saw 10+ individuals at Green Pond near Albrighton and new immediately what they were as he is normally resident in Southern Spain where they are regular visitors to his own pond. Mick also sent in the photos below of Emerald Damselfly (left) and Azure Damselfly (right), the Azure being really quite a late record for this species in Shropshire.

The best review of all…

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The guide book’s so good even the dragonflies can’t resist! A great photo sent in by Jonathan Bell taken in Norfolk….nowhere near Shropshire….but I couldn’t resist a Ruddy Darter on a picture of a Ruddy Darter- marvellous!

Interesting Brown Hawker behaviour…

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John Barratt has been observing Brown Hawkers on the wing at Cricklade and sent in these interesting pics. Males are often seen curling up the end of the abdomen in the process of transferring sperm, but here we have the female apparently mimicking the action. Discussing this with Bob Kemp reveals he has witnessed this behaviour in several of the hawker females and it is most likely a deterrent to the pursuing male. Another interesting tack to take having heard last year about female Common Hawkers dropping out of the sky and feigning death to avoid mating!

A few high summer species…

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Jan Shields has sent in some great pics of our high summer species seen at Snailbeach and at Mousecroft Pool in Shrewsbury. This Common Darter male (left) shows the diagnostic striped legs and antehumeral stripes. Below left Ruddy Darters can be seen in tandem, the male and female having solid black legs and no antehumeral stripes- rather a black T shape on the thorax. Below right are Emerald Damselflies  in tandem showing how much narrower the male abdomen is in comparison to the female. The bottom 2 photos show hawker females ovipositing; a close up of the Brown Hawker (left) and the Southern Hawker (right).

New sighting of Small Red-eyed Damselfly

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Another record of Small Red-eyed Damselfly has come in from Meurig Garbutt who saw numerous individuals including this one (left) at Dudmaston on 5th August. The photo shows the blue pigment on the sides of segments 2,3 and 8 as well as the black X mark on the top of segment 2. Faint brown antehumeral stripes are also visible. Keep us posted if you see this species as it will be interesting to see how quickly it spreads throughout Shropshire.

Species recorded in 2019…

Large Red Damselfly

17th April

White-faced Darter

22nd April

Four-spotted Chaser

22nd April

Azure Damselfly

4th May

Red-eyed Damselfly

5th May

Blue-tailed Damselfly

5th May

Beautiful Demoiselle

15th May

Banded Demoiselle

15th May

Broad-bodied Chaser

15th May

White-legged Damselfly

15th May

Common Clubtail

19th May

Common Blue Damselfly

27th May

Emerald Damselfly

14th June

Black-tailed Skimmer

18th June

Emperor Dragonfly

20th June

Black Darter

20th June

Common Darter

22nd June

Brown Hawker

27th June

Common Hawker

27th June

Golden-ringed Dragonfly

3rd July

Lesser Emperor

7th July

Ruddy Darter

8th July

Southern Hawker

19th July

Small Red-eyed Damselfly

24th July

Migrant Hawker

29th July