Barrie Smith has been keeping an eye on Whixall this week and reports 100’s of Emeralds which must look fantastic! A male is shown below with his wings held typically at 45 degrees- a trait that results in this species being commonly referred to as one of the spreadwings.
Also reported were Brown Hawker, Large Red damselflies, lots of Blue-tailed damselflies and lots of Black Darter. The Black Darter is the smallest dragonfly species found in the UK and Barrie’s photographs clearly illustrate the differences between males and females.
The male (above) has a distinctly waisted abdomen whereas the female (below) has a more straight sided tapering abdomen. Both males and females show the distinctive splash pattern of yellow dots on the thorax side. Females have a distinctive black triangle on top of the thorax and what are described as inverted black ‘T’ shapes toward the end of the abdomen. Just remember immature males are very similar in colouration to females – just to keep you on your toes!