Category Archives: Blog

New sighting of Small Red-eyed Damselfly

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Another record of Small Red-eyed Damselfly has come in from Meurig Garbutt who saw numerous individuals including this one (left) at Dudmaston on 5th August. The photo shows the blue pigment on the sides of segments 2,3 and 8 as well as the black X mark on the top of segment 2. Faint brown antehumeral stripes are also visible. Keep us posted if you see this species as it will be interesting to see how quickly it spreads throughout Shropshire.

…and the female Migrant Hawker too

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And just for the sake of completeness, the female Migrant Hawker also sent in by Peter Roberts. This picture shows the long anal appendages and the very faint reduced antehumeral stripes. Most noticeable as always is the yellow ‘golf tee’ shape on top of segment 2 of the abdomen- just as in the male.

Migrant Hawker on the wing…

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Peter Roberts has recorded Migrant Hawker in his garden in Woore – way up in North East Shropshire. Peter’s photo shows the immature male and though the colors are pale the diagnostic ‘golf tee’ shape is clearly visible on segment 2 of the abdomen as are the reduced antehumeral stripes and 2 ‘racing stripes’ on the side of the thorax. The only ‘likely outstanding species’ not recorded yet this year are Keeled Skimmer and Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly, both of which should currently be on the wing so keep us posted with any sightings.

Woodland favourite…

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Often when walking in woods I’m closely inspected by Southern Hawker males or see them hawking up and down woodland rides. Kate Jones and family were also enjoying this male near some muddy puddles in the woods at Haughmond Hill recently. A good photo for showing the headlights (big broad antehumeral stripes) and tail lights (paired dots merging into stripes at the end of the abdomen) that make this species readily identifiable.

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.

Lesser Emperor in Shropshire!

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Stephen Barlow (who is an excellent photographer!) has just managed to get proof of Lesser Emperor seen yesterday at Alderford Lake. Stephen has observed this species at other locations in previous years and knew as the dragonfly hovered that it was smaller in size than the other Emperors also on the wing (shown below). Despite the blur in this photo (left) you can clearly see the striking blue saddle that stands out against the brown thorax and abdomen, and even the green eyes are visible. This is the 2nd ever recording of this migrant species in Shropshire and with reports of migrants appearing around the UK this is a great year to keep a keen eye out for something a bit different!