Warwickshire Dragonfly Group

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Red-eyed damselfly Erythromma najas.
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Small Red-eyed damselfly Erythromma viridulum.

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This species was first recorded in the UK in Essex in 1999. Since that date it has been rapidly spreading north and west in the country. It was discovered in Warwickshire for the first time 15 August 2004 at the Swift Valley Reserve, Rugby. This followed almost immediately on its discovery in Northamptonshire. Breeding activity has been observed at this site.

The species can be expected to colonise suitable habitat in the county rapidly in the next few years. It is particularly associated with water bodies with floating vegetation such as Hornwort (Ceratophyllum), Water Milfoil (Myriophyllum) and Water-Tyme (Elodea). At the Swift Valley it was exploiting Ivy-leafed Duckweed Lemna trisulca.

Since 2004 there was been a rapid extension of its range. In summer it was the dominant Red-eyed species at some sites. In 2008  its progress stalled and numbers of individuals at established sites declined. The decline continued in 2009 and 2010 but stabilised in the period 2011 to 2013.

It is a species that appears to tolerant of lower quality water.



 

Banner artwork by Joan Sharrett

Last updated Wed Jul 16 17:15:56 2014

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