Good English dragonfly, damselfly news

This video is a short film on dragonflies and damselflies, showing the entire life-cycle.

From Wildlife Extra:

Migrant dragonflies and damselflies colonising southern England

Damselflies colonise East Anglia & migrant dragonflies benefit from our late summer

September 2012. Recent warm, sunny weather appears to have benefitted several migrant dragonflies and damselflies in Southern England, according to the British Dragonfly Society (BDS).

During late-August and September (2012) the BDS received sightings’ reports of Lesser Emperor, Southern Migrant Hawker, Migrant Hawker and Red-veined Darter dragonflies, as well as for two unusual Emerald damselflies – the Southern and Willow Emeralds.

Lesser Emperor – First seen in UK in 1996

The Lesser Emperor, a smaller relative of the more common Emperor Dragonfly, was first discovered in the UK only as recently as 1996. Although still very rare, it has now become an annual migrant to UK shores, one which has even managed to breed successfully on occasion at sites in Cornwall and Kent. Within the last few weeks the species has been recorded in Hampshire, Kent, East Sussex and Suffolk, with egg-laying being reported from some of these sites.

Southern Migrant Hawker

In Kent and Essex there have been several recent sightings of a rare Mediterranean migrant – the Southern Migrant Hawker. This dragonfly is becoming a more frequent visitor to our shores and is perhaps a potential new colonist to Southern England; indeed many (or even all?) of this year’s individuals could well be the offspring of dragonflies that arrived in the area during an influx noted in 2010.

Red-veined Darter

Over in Hampshire, Berkshire and Gloucestershire, a dragonfly more at home in the rice paddies of Southern Europe has also been spotted. The Red-veined Darter is a once rare, but now fairly regular migrant to our shores which recently has also managed to breed successfully in Southern England – although it does not yet appear to be established here.

Southern Emerald Damselfly

In addition to these migrant dragonflies, two species of Emerald damselflies appear to be new colonisers to the UK. The Southern Emerald Damselfly occurs across the English Channel in France. It breeds in temporary pools in sand-dunes and coastal marshes and would appear to be about to colonise here. It has thus within recent weeks been sighted in Norfolk and Kent, at sites where it has also been seen in the recent past.

Willow Emerald Damselfly

A relative of the Southern Emerald, the Willow Emerald Damselfly is a recent colonist within the last four years, and has during September (2012) been recorded in Bedfordshire, Essex, Kent, Norfolk and Suffolk.

President of the BDS, Dr Pam Taylor says, “These are exciting times for dragonflies in the UK, with many new Continental species starting to appear in our region; it is thought that these range expansions may be linked to on-going climatic change. Despite the poor weather seen in the early part of this summer, clearly the overall trends are still being maintained.”

July 2013. An area of habitat for the rare Southern Damselfly has been saved thanks to the combined effort of several conservation organisations, the landowner and local farmers. The endangered Southern Damselfly is at risk of extinction in this part of the Preseli Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) in Pembrokeshire which is one of its traditional strongholds in Europe. Projects like this that maintain its habitat are vital for the species survival in the area: here.

1 thought on “Good English dragonfly, damselfly news

  1. Pingback: Cranes nest in Scotland, first time since the Middle Ages | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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