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 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 2020 Shropshire Dragonfly Watch.

White-legged Damselflies on the wing

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19th May saw White-legged Damselflies take to the skies both at Coalbrookdale (pictured left photographed by Paul Spear) and the Marl Allotment area of Whixall Moss (pictured below photographed by Stephen Barlow). Both images show immature females with the ovipositor clearly visible.

Fabulous Clubtail Emergence…

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Paul Spear has sent in this fabulous set of photos illustrating Clubtail emergence. This first photo is fascinating (not just because the dragonfly has a fly on it’s head!) but if you click to enlarge it you can see Paul has captured the exact moment the thorax has started to split open- amazing!

Clubtails emerging in Shrewsbury…

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Sam Rees has sent in these great shots of Common Clubtail seen in Doctor’s Field on the River Severn in Shrewsbury. The close up left shows the clearly separated eyes – the only dragonfly (as opposed to damselfly) in the UK to have this diagnostic character. This sighting should herald a good 2/3 weeks of this species emerging from the River Severn in Shrewsbury.

Elsewhere Stephen Barlow is still enjoying White-faced Darters emerging on Whixall Moss- a teneral male shown below just on the brink of maturing from yellowish to red. Jan Shields has also sent in 2 more great photos of Beautiful Demoiselle -a nice comparison of the male (far below left) and female (far below right). Notice it is only the female that has a splash of white on the wings- the pseudopterostigma.

Emperor on the wing…somewhere

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Well we haven’t seen it, but there’s proof right here! Yvonne from Cross Houses has sent in these great exuvia shots- complete with measurements. The Emperor exuvia is really unlike anything else in this country in terms of head and eye shape and sheer size! The Lesser Emperor is very similar, but still such a rare migrant I’m 100% sure this is our resident species Emperor Dragonfly -the largest dragonfly species in the UK.

Broad-bodied Chaser emergence

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Cecilia Young has sent in some lovely emergence shots of Broad-bodied Chaser taken at her garden pond near Oswestry – presumably just before this cold snap. Over 30 exuviae were found which makes me very jealous as I still await any dragonfly emergence from my pond! The last photo in the sequence shows clearly the antehumeral (shoulder) stripes and broad flattened body shape of this species.

Species recorded in 2020…

Large Red Damselfly

15th April

Four-spotted Chaser

19th April

White-faced Darter

22nd April

Broad-bodied Chaser

25th April

Beautiful Demoiselle

2nd May

Azure Damselfly

6th May

Banded Demoiselle

8th May

Emperor Dragonfly

11th May

Common Clubtail

13th May

White-legged Damselfly

19th May

Common Blue Damselfly

22nd May

Blue-tailed Damselfly

22nd May

Black-tailed Skimmer

28th May