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.

Small Red-eyed Damselfly in Shropshire!!

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Great news- we finally have the first recorded sightings of Small Red-eyed Damselfly Erythromma viridulum in Shropshire! We’ve been expecting this species for about 4 or 5 years as it expanded it’s range across from the East. Bob Pugh saw these first individuals (that I am aware of) on 24th July at Stokesay Castle near Craven Arms.  The extra ‘bleeding’ blue colour on the sides of segments 2,3 and 8 is visible and so too is the complete antehumeral stripe of the female- usually incomplete or broken in Red-eyed Damselfly.

Bob also took some lovely in flight shots of male and female Black-tailed Skimmer shown below.

Small Red-eyed Damselfly very close to Shropshire!

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Exciting reports and photos of Small Red-eyed Damselfly have come in just north of Enville (SO8286) which is literally a few kms from Shropshire. This species to date has never been recorded in Shropshire so a county first would be great. Keep an eye out if you’re in SW Shropshire- look out for extra blue coloration bleeding up and down the abdomen from the ends (onto sides of segments 2,3 and 8) and a black X mark on segment 10. Keep us posted!

Southern Hawker takes to the skies…

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Dodging showers last weekend at Preston Montford on the dragonfly course we saw numerous Southern Hawkers emerging and finally an adult female on the wing on the Sunday. Jan Shields has also seen this fabulous male (left) showing ‘text book’ head lights (broad antehumeral stripes) and tail lights (the continuous bands of colour at the end of the abdomen). Jan has also sent in 2 great shots of immature Darters; a Ruddy Darter (below left) with black legs, a ‘T’ on top of the thorax and a clear frons side line, and secondly a Common Darter (below right) with antehumeral stripes and stripes down the legs clearly visible.

Ruddy Darter on the wing…

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Jim Almond has been enjoying Ruddy Darters at Venus Pool since 8th July and has sent in a couple of pics of males. On the left we have a fully mature male with the distinctive bright red coloration and below left an immature male showing colours similar to the female, but clearly showing the waisted and clubshaped abdomen of the male. Stephen Barlow has also seen the odd late White-faced Darter still on the wing at Whixall Moss, spotting this mating pair (below right) on the 15th July.

Beautiful photos from Cramer Gutter…

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Gary Crowder has sent in some stunning photos from Cramer Gutter in South Shropshire. A Beautiful Demoiselle (left) living up to it’s name and Broad-bodied Chaser (below left) and Common Hawker (below right). The females below are at opposite ends of adult life with the Broad-bodied Chaser looking fairly old and the Common Hawker fairly fresh. This is to be expected with the former being a spring species and the latter being a late summer/early autumn species only just emerging in recent days.

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

Brown Hawker

27th June

Common Hawker

27th June

Golden-ringed Dragonfly

3rd July

Lesser Emperor

7th July

Ruddy Darter

8th July

Southern Hawker

19th July

Small Red-eyed Damselfly

24th July

Migrant Hawker

29th July

Keeled Skimmer

15th August