Warwickshire Dragonfly Group

Previous species
Emerald damselfly Lestes sponsa.

White-legged damselfly Platycnemis pennipes.

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Warwickshire is on the Northern limit of the range of this species.

Though generally considered a riverine species before 1997 its stronghold here was the canal system in the east of the county. Tolerant of high traffic density and water turbidity it is on occasion prolific on stretches of canal as, for example, the Grand Union at Stockton. It is also insensitive to the nature of the bank, be it concrete kerbing or more natural. Particularly useful is its habit of emerging on the canal concrete kerb enabling the odonatist easily to find, collect and count exuvia! In the years following 1997 it spread widely on the county river systems, not just from its eastern stronghold but from the west up the Avon.

In May 1997 it was recorded for the first time in the west of the county on the Avon. In succeeding years its recorded range extended up the Avon and the Alne tributary. In 2002 it was recorded for the first time on the Stratford Canal at Preston Bagot. There has been a less marked trend westward from the eastern stronghold of the species. Also, the species seems to more abundant on the rivers in the east than it was prior to 1997.

The species is also found at a number of still water sites in the county, often close to or adjoining its favoured canal habitats. Breeding behavior is often observed at such sites, including oviposition. Successful breeding was confirmed in the county at a still water site for the first time in May 2005 (exuvia were found at Stockton Quarry).

Though the species is now widespread in the county there are still areas with suitable riverine and still water sites where it is unrecorded, see the distribution map. Records from these areas of the county are particularly welcome.


Banner artwork by Joan Sharrett

Last updated Wed Jul 16 17:15:56 2014

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Next species
Large red damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula.