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.

The joy of exuviae!

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I was just sauntering passed Radbrook Pond on Sunday when I found these 2 exuviae. The larger of the 2 is Red-eyed Damselfly- a distinctively large exuviae with bands visible on the caudal lamellae (below left). I assumed the smaller of the 2 would be Large Red Damselfly but when I actually looked at it carefully at home I found it to be Blue-tailed Damselfly. I soaked and studied the caudal lamellae (below right-blurred sorry) which have a tapered pointed tip and are described as obliquely subnodate with stout setae reaching the mid point on one side and a third of the way on the other- all from Steve Cham’s great ID guide. So that’s 2 more species for 2019!

Azure Damselfly on the wing

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Stephen Barlow has seen and photographed this female Azure Damselfly at Whixall Moss on Saturday 4th May. Stephen also reported good numbers of Large Red Damselflies present in the more sheltered spots and 5 more Four-spotted Chasers.

3 species on the wing at Whixall

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Stephen Barlow had an excellent early haul of 3 different species on Whixall Moss on Bank Holiday Monday. An immature male White-faced Darter is seen here on the far left showing yellow markings which will turn red with maturity. On the immediate left is the first sighting of Four-spotted Chaser- already clearly showing the four spots at the node of the wings.

Stephen also saw more Large Red Damselflies- a male is seen here on the far left and a female on the near left with a clear bulbous ovipositor at the end of the abdomen.

Good Friday good for Large Reds

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Hot on the heels of the first sightings, Large Reds were seen at both Attingham Park (by Paul Spear) and Whixall Moss (by Stephen Barlow) on Good Friday. Paul took the photo shown here of a female. Females come in 3 colour forms so it’s always a good chance to have a closer look whilst there are few other species about. This is the form fulvipes with yellow antehumeral stripes and black markings on the abdomen.

Large Reds Launch in Shropshire!

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And we’re off! Maria Justamond has seen the first Large Red Damselflies emerging in Shropshire at Upton Magna yesterday- Wednesday 17th April. Several were seen and I’m sure that with the amazing forecast we should see much winged activity this Easter throughout Shropshire…keep me posted…

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