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.

Black Darters on Titterstone Clee HIll

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Jason Kernohan has spotted 2 male Black Darters on Titterstone Clee Hill in south Shropshire -one photographed here showing the characteristic waisted abdomen of the male. Only a handful of Black Darter records have ever been made at this location so a really nice record to get.

Still on the wing….

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Jan Shields has been enjoying our late summer species at Mousecroft Pool including a number of Darters and Hawkers. The female in this pair of Migrant Hawkers illustrates the long anal appendages typical of this species. Below is a lovely picture of an ovipositing Southern Hawker and if you look closely you can see the blade like ovipositor cutting in to the plant.

Beauty at the Bog…

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Dawn Balmer has been visiting the Stiperstones area and The Bog Pool and enjoying 2 of our late summer species in all their glory! This stunning male Emerald Damselfly really lives up to it’s name with the sun catching the thorax. Below is pictured a male Black Darter showing a textbook waisted abdomen and fabulous black colouration.

Migrant Hawker on the wing

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Migrant Hawker finally confirmed on the wing and seen here by Jan Shields both at Whixall Moss and at Mousecroft Pool near Shrewsbury. Jan’s photos show clearly the reduced antehumeral stripes on the male thorax and you can just about make out the diagnostic ‘golf tee’ shape at the top of the abdomen on the in flight shot (below right). Jan has also been enjoying Brown and Common Hawkers, Emperors and Common and Black Darters (far below right) at Whixall Moss despite many dry pools. Emerald Damselfly (far below left) also seem to be surviving the heat and Jan recorded these unusually also at Mousecroft Pool.

Jan’s photo of a Common Hawker (left) shows the straight up-tilted abdomen in flight- a contrast to the slightly drooping abdomen of the Migrant Hawker in flight above.

Don’t forget to check the vegetation…

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David Goodwin has been in touch reporting over 60 Southern Hawker exuviae from his garden pond pictured below. David is based in Staffordshire, but such a focus on these ‘proof of breeding’ records deserves special mention! David has seen around 5 adults emerge from the pond, but the far greater number of exuviae clearly show how much activity there has been. It’s also a great reminder to check vegetation for exuviae, and indeed walls and fences as they can travel some distance!

Species recorded in 2019…