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 2018 Shropshire Dragonfly Watch.

Broad-bodied and slightly slimmer…

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Tim Preston has sent in a great photo of the male Broad-bodied Chaser (left) also seen at Shawbury Heath this week and it gives me a chance to post this alongside the female (right). When seen together the broader body of the female is clear. Many dragon and damselfly species show a similar pattern with the females having stockier and in some species far more robust parallel sided abdomens than the respective males.

White-legged Damselflies at Whixall

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Stephen Barlow reports White-legged Damselflies on Llangollen Canal at Whixall Moss and Whixall Marl Allotment -seeing in excess of 50. This species is being surveyed by the BDS this year so all sightings are particularly  important and please do send in the records to our County Recorder Vicky. Stephen’s photos (male left, female right) show the distinctive broad flattened legs which are one of the diagnostic features of this species. They also have chestnut coloured pterostigma when mature which really stand out.

Stephen also saw a good number of Beautiful Demoiselles at Whixall (male left, female right) along with Broad-bodied Chasers, Four-spotted Chasers, White-faced Darters, Azure and Large Red Damselflies. The female Demoiselle pictured here clearly shows a white diffuse patch on the wing referred to as a pseudopterostigma or false pterostigma- also seen in female Banded Demoiselles.

Broad-bodied Chasers and Beautiful Demoiselles on the wing

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Tim Preston has been out and about on Shawbury Heath to find the first Broad-bodied Chasers basking in the heat. He captured this beautiful photo of a female illustrating very clearly why they are so named. Tim also saw the first Beautiful Demoiselles – seeing males and females ( a female photographed below left). A day or two earlier Tim had been up to Whixall Moss and took this photo of a Four-spotted Chaser (below right) -not the first on the wing, but far too good a photo to miss.

Common Clubtails in Shrewsbury

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Andy Beech has been enjoying the highs and lows of emerging Club-tails right in the middle of Shrewsbury on the River Severn in the Quarry. He took this great sequence of emergence shots which I believe turned out successfully…and then also the shots below. Interestingly, Andy photographed the larva as it actually walked up to it’s chosen emergence sight, but already in the first photo (far below left) it appears an ant is ready and waiting. Sadly on his return to this spot a few more had joined the lunch date!

On a brighter note, Andy also saw some intact (!) and recently emerged Banded Demoiselles- seen here with a lovely closeup photo.

Collection of species at Coalbrookdale

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Paul Spear has already seen a good few species this year at Coalbrookdale. The first Common Blue Damselfly (left) was recorded here on May 13th along with Large Red Damselfly (below left). A subsequent visit on May 21st saw both male (below centre) and female (below right) Banded Demoiselles and best of all the arrival of Common Club-tails- 2 fabulous photos shown below.

Species recorded in 2018…

Large Red Damselfly

April 21st

White-faced Darter

May 4th

Four-spotted Chaser

May 5th

Azure Damselfly

May 10th

Common Blue Damselfly

May 13th

Blue-tailed Damselfly

May 20th

Club-tailed Dragonfly

May 20th

Banded Demoiselle

May 20th

Broad-bodied Chaser

May 21st

Beautiful Demoiselle

May 21st

White-legged Damselfly

May 23rd