Moorgates Quarry LNR

Habitat

Former quarry with woodland walk and several ponds.

Access

Uppermill (Grid Ref: SD992053).

More Information

OS Map on Bing
Moorgates Trail Leaflet

Species List

Thorne Moors – Humberhead Peatlands NNR

Habitat

Former peatland extraction site, currently being restored to heathland.

Access

Grid Reference: SE664094
The nearest large towns to the reserve are Doncaster and Scunthorpe. Follow the signs for Thorne on the A18/M18/M180. Park with care along Grange Road or at the Winning Post Centre in the village of Moorends. The moors can also be accessed from the East via Crowle Moors Grid Ref: SE 759145

Species List

Thorpe Marsh

Habitat

A Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Site – Pastures lined with hedgerows, ponds, lakes and small woodlands.

Access

Grid Reference SE594088
Approach from Arksey or Barnby Dun along Forstead Lane parking near the Norwood Pumping Station.

More Information

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust – Thrope Marsh
Bing OS Map

Species List

Oakhill & Goole Brick Ponds

Access

Leave the M62 at junction 36 and head towards Goole on the A614. Parking is along Tom Pudding Way near the Tesco distribution centre. A site plan can be downloaded from the Friends of Oakhill Nature Reserve website at the following link:-

http://oakhillnature.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Maps.pdf

More Information

A plan of the site can be downloaded from East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s website.
OS Map from BING Maps

 

Species List

Paull Holme Strays


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Habitat

Small pond adjacent to car park.

Access

Park in the car park off Thorngumbald Road, east of Paull village, and just east of the gas compound.

More Information

OS Map from BING Maps

Species List

Treeton Dyke


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Habitat

Large Lake with surrounding meadow and scrubland.

Access

Park at the end of Washfield Lane, Treeton, near the railway line. Follow path south along the edge of the Railway to reach Treeton Dyke.

More Information

OS Map from BING Maps

Species List

Rabbit Ings


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Habitat

Former colliery yard and spoil heap of the Monkton Colliery .

Access

Car parks can be found along Lund Hill Lane, East of Royston.

More Imformation

OS Map from BING Maps

Species List

Forge Valley NNR


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Habitat

Wooded river valley of the Derwent.

Access

Park at the Old Man’s Mouth Picnic area SE984870. Cross the river on the board walk and walk upstream keeping an eye out for the demoiselles in sunny spots along the river.

More Information

OS Map from BING Maps

Species List

Walton Colliery Nature Park


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Habitat

A former colliery site with ponds, grassland and a good path network. In 2008 it was designated a Local Nature Reserve. Numerous small ponds and disused canal.

Access

Car park off Shay Lane, between Walton and Crofton on the B6378.
Grid ref. SE363176

More Information

Walton Colliery Nature Park Leaflet
OS Map from BING Maps

Species List

Pugneys Country Park


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Habitat

A 250 acre site which was previously an open cast mine, as well as a sand and gravel quarry and was turned into a country park in 1985. The park has two lakes, the largest of which is a 100 acre watersports lake. The smaller of the two lakes is only 24 acres and is a nature reserve which is overlooked by 2 bird hides. There are also many other streams and waterways on the site.

Access

East from junction 38 of the M1. Entrance from the A636 and A6186 junction roundabout.
Grid ref. SE330171

More Information

OS Map from BING Maps

Species List

The Yorkshire Arboretum


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Habitat

A series of four artificial water bodies set within the grounds of the arboretum.

Access

Situated between York and Malton, the arboretum is opposite the main entrance to Castle Howard.
There is an admission fee.
Grid ref. SE705699

More Information

The Yorkshire Arboretum
OS Map from BING Maps

Species List

Hurst Dam


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Habitat

Remains of a small reservoir constructed in the 19th century for the lead industry. It’s surrounded by heather moor and rough grassland, at an altitude of aroud 380m.

Access

Hurst Dam is at NZ042023, in Swaledale just west of Hurst. It’s a little off the public right of way but on Open Access land, so it’s accessible at most times of the year, but not with a dog.

More Information

OS Map from BING Maps

Beautiful Demoiselle Calopteryx virgo

Next Species

Length

45-49mm; Wingspan: Male 58mm; Female 63mm; Hindwing 24-36mm; Larva: 30-35mm

Male

Dark brown-black wings, with iridescent blue veins making the wings appear metallic cobalt blue. Extreme tips and bases may be paler, there is no pterostigma. Wings are broader than the similar Banded Demoiselle. Body is metallic blue-green. Immatures wings are browner.

040709beaudemderwent1

Female

Dark brown iridescent wings with a white ‘false pterostigma’, larger on forewing than hindwing. Wings are browner than the similar Banded Demoiselle. Body is metallic green with a bronze tip to abdomen. Homeochrome, (male coloured females) are sometimes recorded.

040709beaudemderwent2

Gallery

Beautiful Demoiselle Gallery

Behavior

Territorial males perch on bankside vegetation. They will flick their wings open and shut, occasionally chasing off passing insects, often returning to same perch. Females only visit water for egg-laying or seeking a mate, both sexes frequently stray well away from water. Flies slowly with a butterfly like flight and frequently settles on bankside vegetation or trees.

Habitat

Restricted to faster running clear water, found only along streams and rivers, often acidic, with sand or gravel bottom. Mostly found along heathland or moorland streams, though can also occur in farmland and woodland, including well shaded streams. Prefers cooler water than Banded Demoiselle. As streams broaden this species gives way to Banded Demoiselle, where there may be a broad overlap. Occasional hybridisation may take place. Sensitive to waterway management (clearance of vegetation) and pollution.

Flight Period

National: Late April to early October, though generally May to late September, being most abundant during June and July.
Yorkshire: Mid June to early August.


Status

VC61 – Only finds its way into the Vice-county due to the new course of the River Hertford being cut south of the old North and East Riding County Boundary. In many places this is within metres of the boundary.
VC62 – Extremely localised to the south-eastern area of the North Yorkshire Moors.

Locations

beautiful-demoiselle-calopteryx-virgo

Nosterfield Local Nature Reserve


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Habitat

A former sand and gravel quarry, owned and managed by the Lower Ure Conservation Trust since 1996. Primarily a wetland, grassland habitat, with four permanent bodies of water, the dragonfly population is continually expanding. To date, 16 species have been recorded, most recently Emerald Damselfly and Four-spotted Chaser. A permissive footpath from the main car park runs in one direction to West Tanfield village, and in the opposite direction towards Nosterfield village, from which it is possible to view the Silt Lagoons. Two hides overlook the Main Lake and a viewing screen overlooks the North Lake. In summer, the footpath is a favoured ‘sunning’ area for Black-tailed Skimmers and in the autumn is frequented by Migrant Hawkers and Common Darters.

Access

Access is from the B6267 (Moor Lane), east of West Tanfield, which follows the boundary of the reserve, signed at the car park entrance (SE278795).

The site is open all year round but visitors are requested to keep to the permissive footpath at all times.  To arrange a group visit, please contact Simon Warwick, LUCT Trustee: email simon@luct.org.uk or telephone 01765 602832

More Information

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Timble Ings


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Habitat

Woodland, shallow moorland streams, ponds and ditches.

Access

Access is of the minor road south of Blubberhouses. Parking for a couple of cars opposite Anchor Farm at grid ref: SE170542, or four cars along the unmade road at grid ref: SE166530.

More Information

OS Map from BING Maps

Species List

Fairburn Ings


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Habitat

Range of open water and marsh.

Access

Visitors centre is 3/4 of a mile west of Fairburn village.

More Information

Fairburn Ings – RSPB
OS Map from BING Maps

Species List

Johnny Brown’s Common


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Habitat

Former colliery site with ponds, marsh and scrub.

Access

Park in layby on B6474 between Upton and South Kirby. Walk west along track to reach common.

More Information

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Potteric Carr


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Habitat

Range of open water, marsh and woodland.

Access

Located half a mile from Junction 3 of the M18, just south of Doncaster. Access into the reserve is via Sedum House, the head office of the BTCV.

More Information

OS Map from BING Maps
Potteric Carr – YWT

Species List

Dundale Pond


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Habitat

Moorland pond and stream.

Access

Take Braygate Lane north from Levisham. Park at the end of the lane and walk down to the pond.

More Information

OS Map from BING Maps

Species List

The Tarn, Goathland


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Habitat

Acidic bog and standing open water.

Access

Park at the T junction at the western end of Goathland. Follow the footpath up onto the moor in a south-westerly direction.

More Information

OS Map from BING Maps

Species List

Tranmire Bog


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Habitat

Bog.

Access

Roadside bog on Wheeldale Moor at SE803970

More Information

OS Map from BING Maps

Species List

Fen Bog


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Habitat

Valley mire.

Access

The reserve is situated to the west of the A169 Pickering-Whitby road, about ten miles north of Pickering and three miles south of Goathland.

More Information

OS Map from BING Maps
Fen Bog – YWT

Species List

Spurn Point

Habitat

Shallow scrapes and former canal.

Access

Park in the Canal Scrape car park before the entrance to Spurn Point.

More Information

OS Map from BING Maps

Species List

Skipwith Common


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Habitat

Dry and wet heathland, mire bogs.

Access

From the west off the A19 along King Rudding Lane, the east from Common Lane in Skipwith.

More Information

OS Map from BING Maps

Species List

Saltmarshe Delph


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Habitat

A Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Site – Open fresh water and reedbed.

Access

South of Howden (SE774248).

More Information

OS Map from BING Maps
Saltmarshe Delph – YWT

Species List

River Hertford


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Habitat

Canalised river draining into the River Derwent.

Access

Car park just north of the bridge over the A64 and also the bridge at Folkton Carr.

More Information

OS Map from BING Maps

Species List

Pulfin and High Eske Nature Reserve


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Habitat

A Yorkshire Wildlife Trust site consisting of High Eske borrow pit and Pulfin reed fen.

Access

Accessed via Tickton by walking along the River Hull bank (TA050440).

More Information

OS Map from BING Maps
Pulfin Bog – YWT

Species List

Pocklington Canal


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Habitat

Slow flowing fresh water of high quality with plenty of floating and emergent vegetation.

Access

Access is possible from a number of locations along the canal.

More Information

OS Map from BING Maps

Species List


Pocklington Canal, Bielby

Pocklington Canal

Oak Road Lake, Hull


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Habitat

Borrow pit formed by extraction to strengthen the banks of the River Hull.

Access

From Beverley Road, Hull via Beresford Avenue (TA092322).

Species List

North Cave Wetlands

Habitat

Former site of sand and gravel extraction turned back to nature. A Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Site – The site is still being developed, primarily for birds. A series of five ponds have been created for dragonflies along the northern path of the reserve.

Access

Leave the M62 at junction 38. Reserve is signposted from North Cave village. Reserve is also signposted from the A1079 at Market Weighton.

More Information

OS Map from BING Maps
North Cave Wetlands
North Cave Wetlands -YWT

Species List


Lilly Pond

Lilly Pond

Market Weighton Canal and Newport Ponds


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Habitat

Canal and ponds complex with floating vegetation.

Access

A car park can be found along Canal Side West off the B1230 in Newport Village.

More Information

OS Map from BING Maps

Species List

Leven Canal


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Habitat

Former canal now designated as an SSSI. Fed by calcareous spring water of high quality and supporting a range of fenland plant species along its margin

Access

Off the Beverley to Bridlington Road A1035 in Leven (TA1045).

More Information

OS Map from BING Maps

Species List

Hornsea Mere


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Habitat

Large shallow natural lake close to the coast.

Access

Parking at Kirkholme Point at (TA193470).

More Information

OS Map from BING Maps

Species List

Filey Dams


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Habitat

A Yorkshire Wildlife Trust site consisting of fresh marsh.

Access

Accessed via Wharfedale road off the A1039.

More Information

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Filey Dams – YWT

Species List

Eastrington Ponds


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Habitat

Local Nature Reserve at (SE7829). The main pond is the former site of Eastrington Brick Works. There are several borrow pits foound along either side of the railtrail, the pits the result of building the former Hull and Barnsley Railway.

Access

There is a car park which is accessed off Howden Road, west of Eastrington village.

More Information

OS Map from BING Maps
A plan of the site can be downloaded from East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s website.

Species List

Broomfleet Washlands


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Habitat

Fenland type habitat with a series of fishing ponds.

Access

Leave the M62 at the North Cave junction. Take the B1230 to Newport. Before reaching Newport take the left turning to Broomfleet along Wallingfen Lane. At the end of the road turn right on to Common Road. Continue straight on, the road eventually turns in to a deeply rutted track which is passable with care, car park can be found before the track rises towards the railway. Alternatively turn left off Common Road on to Carr Lane. At the end of the road turn right on to Main Street. Take the right hand bend and follow the road until reaching the bridge over the Market Weighton Canal, don’t cross the bridge, the road is wide enough to safely park. Walk north towards the railway where there is an underpass on to the washlands complex.

Note: The site may be used for cattle grazing and could also be in use for shooting.

OS Map from BING Maps

Species List

Noddle Hill Nature Reserve


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Habitat

A Hull City Council owned site. Fishing Pond.

Access

Take Bransholme Road off Noddle Hill Way (TA111348).

More Information

OS Map from BING Maps

Species List

Allerthorpe Common


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Habitat

A Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Site – acidic wet/dry heath, mire, grassland and woodland with ponds.

Access

From A1079 Hull -York Road, towards Sutton-upon-Derwent and Thornton; 1st left towards Thornton. Park 1/2 mile on right. Cross road and walk track by Forest Enterprise gate. Take ride on left to junction with line of pylons. Reserve is along track on right. Grid ref SE 761475.

More Information

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Species List

Heathland Pond

Heathland Pond

Tophill Low Nature Reserve


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Habitat

A wide range of freshwater habitats including marsh, lagoons, dykes and small ponds.

Access

From the A164 Beverley to Driffield Road. Leave the A164 at Watton, sign posted Tophill Low Pumping Station and follow the brown tourist signs along unclassified road for 6.5km/4 miles. Turn right at the main gates and follow the road round to the car park. Open Wednesday to Sunday 9am – 6pm during the summer months, and 9am – 4pm during the winter. The reserve is normally closed Mondays and Tuesdays, but is open on Bank Holiday Mondays.

More Information

OS Map from BING Maps
Tophill Low Nature Reserve

Species List

Banded Demoiselle Calopteryx splendens

Previous Species Next Species

Length

45-48mm; Wingspan: Male 61mm; Female 65mm; Hindwing 27-36mm; Larva: 30-40mm

Males

Translucent wings with a broad, dark iridescent blue-black band on outer part of both wings, there is no pterostigma. Body is metallic blue-green. Immatures wing band is dark brown.

Male Banded Demoiselle on the River Derwent at Ganton on 17/06/2010. - © Paul Ashton.

Females

Translucent pale green wings, white ‘false pterostigma’, larger on forewing than hindwing, metallic green body. Sometimes androchrome females are observed (male coloured females), these can be identified by the ‘false pterostigma’ which males lack.

Female Banded Demoiselle on the River Nidd, Killinghall on 01/07/2009. - © Stuart Roebuck.

Gallery

Banded Demoiselle Gallery

Behavior

Males are territorial, though large numbers can be found together. They attract females by flicking their wings open whilst performing an aerial dance in front of them, flopping down on to the egg-laying site. Females stay away from water unless looking for a mate or egg-laying. Adults will make use of nettle beds and tall grasses to rest.

Habitat

Mature, slow-flowing streams, rivers and canals, with muddy sediment. Can overlap with Beautiful Demoiselle where habitat contains patches of sand and gravel. Prefers open banksides, where as Beautiful Demoiselle will happily use shady areas. Adults of both sexes can be found well away from water and ponds where breeding is unlikely, thought they will breed in lakes adjacent to rivers. Sensitive to waterway management (clearance of vegetation) and pollution.

Flight Period

National: Mid-April to late September, though generally mid-May to early September, being most abundant during June and July.

Yorkshire: Mid-May to late August.


Status

Abundant along occupied rivers and streams. East of the Yorkshire Wolds it is a scarce visitor with single individuals irregularly recorded at well watched sites. There are small signs that it may be about to start to colonise the Hull Valley.

Locations

banded-demoiselle-calopteryx-splendens

Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa

Previous Species Next Species

Length

35-39mm; Wingspan: Male 42mm; Female 45mm; Hindwing 19-22mm

Male

Emerald Damselfly - Lestes sponsa
Metallic green in colour. This species has a slow maturation period of two to four weeks, over this period a blue pruinescence appears on the thorax between wings and segments 1,2, 9 and 10. Eyes blue. Confusion species is Scarce Emerald Damselfly which is extinct in Yorkshire. Both sexes rest with wings half open.

Female

Emerald Damselfly - Lestes sponsa
Metallic green, with pale beige sides to the thorax. Distinctly thicker abdomen than male.

Gallery

Emerald Damselfly Gallery

Behaviour

Weak flyer usually remaining close to emergent vegetation, rarely going far over water. Copulation usually takes place close to breeding site and last from 30 minutes to over an hour. Females usually arrive to oviposit in tandem with the male. Oviposits in to stems of emergent grasses, rushes, sedges and horsetails, usually above surface, but can submerge, including the male. Fairly sedentary and can be absent from seemingly good sites.

Habitat

Still or slow moving water such as ponds, bogs, ditches, canals and lake edges with dense emergent vegetation. Tolerates brackish and acidic water. Sensitive to excessive clearance of emergent vegetation.

Flight Period

Nationally: Late May to early October.
Yorkshire: Late May, though more usually mid June to late September. Most abundant during late July.

emedam

Status

Found at many sites through VC61-64. Scarce or under recorded in VC65.

Locations

emerald-damselfly-lestes-sponsa

Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula

Previous Species Next Species

Length

33-36mm; Wingspan: Male 44mm; Female 48mm; Hindwing 19-24mm

Male

The only red damselfly in Yorkshire and unlikely to be mistaken for anything else. Red abdomen, with black bands on segments 7 to 9. Thorax is black on the top with a red stripe (yellow in immatures). Black areas have a bronze tint.

Male Large Red Damselfly at Broomfleet Ponds Complex on 31/05/2009. - © Paul Ashton.

Male

Female

Occurs in three colour forms. The commonest form is typica, with black bands on most segments of the abdomen. Fulvipes is less well marked than typica and closely resembles the male. Melanotum is a dark from being mainly black, however the antehumeral stripes remain yellow (only yellow when immature in other forms).

Female typica form Large Red Damselfly at Tophill Low on 23/05/2010 - © Paul Ashton.

Female – typica

Gallery

Large Red Damselfly Gallery

Behaviour

This is the first damselfly to emerge each year in Yorkshire. It has a synchronous emergence, all emerging within a three week period, it is therefore shortly after emergence that this species is most abundant. Males emerge slightly earlier than females and also mature more quickly. Copulation lasts for around 15-20 minutes. Eggs are laid in tandem, the female may submerge taking the male with her. The life cycle is two years, on initially occupying a new site there may therefore only be adults found every other year.

Habitat

Has a wide habitat tolerance, including brackish and slightly polluted water, though avoids fast flowing water. Higher abundance in well vegetated, standing water.

Flight Period

National: Mid April to early September.
Yorkshire: Mid April to late July.

larred

Status

Evenly distributed across VC61-64, scarce in VC65.

Locations

large-red-damselfly-pyrrhosoma-nymphula

Red-eyed Damselfly Erythromma najas

Previous Species Next Species

Length

33-37mm; Wingspan: Male 43mm; Female 46mm; Hindwing 19-24mm

Male

Mainly bronzed black with bright red eyes. Top of thorax lacking any antehumeral stripes. Segments 1, 9 and 10 are blue. Sides of thorax are blue with black line and spur present. Legs are black. Immature male is similar to female. Similar to Small Red-eyed Damselfly which is smaller, differences occur in the blue markings. At rest the wing tips reach in to segment eight, in Small Red-eyed Damselfly the wing tips only reach as far as segment 6 or 7. Generally holds its abdomen level, where as Small Red-eyed Damselfly often holds its abdomen slightly upcurved towards the end.

Male Red-eyed Damselfly at Broomfleet on 12/05/2011 - © Paul Ashton.

 

Female

Mainly black with green sides to thorax containing black line and spur. Segments 9 and 10 are black with narrow blue divisions. Eyes are a dull red colour. Usually have short shoulder stripes, though some lack them all together and some may form as explanation marks.

Female Red-eyed Damselfly at Broomfleet on 12/05/2011 - © Paul Ashton.

 

Gallery

Red-eyed Damselfly Gallery

Behaviour

Strong direct flight over water. Spend lots of time resting on broad floating leaves such as water lilies. Mats of algae and debris are also used and males may use surrounding shrubs if there is little floating vegetation. After emergence they will spend time away from water to mature. The first three weeks of emergence is probably the best time to encounter this species at close quarters. Females usually only appear at water to breed. Copulation takes place over water or on nearby vegetation. Egg laying is mainly in tandem, both sexes often submerging. They are laid mainly on the underside of Water Lilies, though other floating vegetation will be used.

Habitat

Large lakes, ponds, canals and slow moving waterbodies with abundant floating vegetation.

Flight Period

Nationally: Mid May to early September.
Yorkshire: Mid May to late August.

reddam3

Status

Species is at the northern edge of its range in Yorkshire. Current records confine it to VC61. To the east of the Wolds its is present at Tophill Low, Leven Canal and Brandesburton Ponds. To the west of the Wolds it is present on Pocklington Canal becoming more abundant to the southwestern end of the canal. It has also recently been recorded along Market Weighton Canal and several ponds in the southwest of the riding. It is possible that this species is present in the northeastern edge of VC63.

Locations

red-eyed-damselfly-erythromma-najas

Small Red-eyed Damselfly Erythromma viridulum

Previous Species Next Species

Length

29mm; Wingspan: Male 38mm; Female 38mm; Hindwing 16-20mm

Male

Small Red-eyed Damselfly - Erythromma viridulum

Similar to Red-eyed Damselfly though distinctly smaller, more likely to be overlooked as Blue-tailed Damselfly. Lacks spots behind the eyes which are reddish-brown. Pale brown pterostigma. Black top to thorax with thin, broken antehumeral stripes. Thorax side is blue with a ‘Spur’ often ending in a spot. Underside of legs are pale. Abdomen dark on top except for S1, S9- S10 and sides of S2-S3 and S8 which are blue. S10 has a black mark, rather like an X, on the top. Wing tips just reach past the join of segment 6 and 7, Red-eyed Damselflies reach into segment 8. Often holds it’s abdomen slightly upcurved, Red-eyed Damselflies hold their abdomen level.

Female

Small Red-eyed Damselfly - Erythromma viridulum

Lack spots behind the eyes. Pale brown pterostigma. Black top to thorax with complete antehumeral stripes. Thorax side is blue-green. Abdomen is predominantly black with a wedge of colour on S10.

Gallery

Small Red-eyed Damselfly Gallery

Behaviour

Mating occurs on floating plants or emergent vegetation, often well away from the margins, making them easily overlooked. Less partial to floating flat leaves than Red-eyed Damselfly. Whilst perched on vegetation the males often hold their abdomen slightly upcurved.

Habitat

Ponds, lakes and ditches clogged with floating mats of vegetation, particularly hornworts and water-milfoils.

Flight Period

National: Mid June to late September though mainly July to August. Later than Red-eyed Damselfly.
Yorkshire: Currently only recorded during August.

Locations

small-red-eyed-damselfly-erythromma-viridulum

Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans

Previous Species Next Species

Length

29-34mm; Wingspan: 35-40mm; Hindwing 14-21mm

Male

Dark bronze-black metallic with blue segment 8. Blue or green sides to the thorax and antehumeral stripes. Blue eye spots. Pterostigma is distinctive being bi-coloured black and white. Tips of the lower appendages diverge.

Male Blue-tailed Damselfly at Pocklington Canal on 22/06/2010 - © Paul Ashton.

 

Female

Occur in several colour forms dependent on age. Segment 8, though not always blue, is usually clearly different from the other sections. Start as either rufescens with a reddish-pink thorax and blue segment 8 or violacea with a violet thorax and antehumeral stripes, black humeral stripes and blue segment 8. After around eight days they mature and change colour, rufescens become greenish-brown of the form rufescens-obsoleta. The form violacea mature into two separate from. The first is infuscans which is a pale green colour, and retaining the black humeral stripes. The second is an andromorph form which adopts the same colours as a male.

Female Blue-tailed Damselfly at Pocklington Canal on 22/06/2010 - © Paul Ashton.

 

Gallery

Blue-tailed Damselfly Gallery

Behavior

Usually stays low down in marginal vegetation, or sheltered well vegetated areas when away from water. Can remain in copulation for up to six hours, making this the most commonly found species in tandem. Female oviposits alone into aquatic vegetation of debris. Less dependent on warm sunny weather, can still be quite active in windy and cool overcast conditions.

Habitat

Has a wide habitat preference making it the most widespread species in the county, though not necessarily abundant. Present at still, slow moving and even brackish waters. Can even tolerate pollution to a small degree. An early coloniser of new ponds.

Flight Period

National: May to mid-September.
Yorkshire: May to mid-September.

bludam

Status

Common and widespread throughout the area, though scarcer in the uplands.

Locations

blue-tailed-damselfly-ischnura-elegans

Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella

Previous Species Next Species

Length

33mm, Wings 36-44mm

Males

Bright blue body with black markings; thorax black top with 2 thin antehumeral stripes; abdomen black U-shaped mark segment 2, segment 8 blue and 9 marked black; eyes bright spots not joined by a bar.

Male Azure Damselfly at Broomfleet Washlands on 22/06/2010 - © Paul Ashton.

 

Females

2 colour forms:-
1) Body green with black markings on upper surface; segment 2 with black thistle shape.
2) Blue form has “mercury” shape on segment 2; rest of black upper markings are more extensive; narrow pale antehumeral stripes.

Note: The shape of the pronotum is the only conclusive way to seperate this species from Variable Damselfly. Personal observations have highlighted that female Azure Damselflies lack the bar between the eye spots, compared to Variable Damselfly.

Female Azure Damselfly at Tophill Low on 15/05/2010 - © Paul Ashton.

02052011-azudam-female-broomfleet-barrywarrington

 

Comments

Initially this species is more abundant than the similar Common Blue Damselfly with which it can be easily confused. It is easy to make the mistake of identifying early blue damselflies as being Azure, then assuming on later visits that this is still the case. However after four of five weeks, Azure can suddenly become harder to find as Common Blue Damselfly become more abundant.

Gallery

Azure Damselfly Gallery

Habitat

Widely distributed, prefers small sheltered sites, particularly garden ponds, ditches and canals with plenty of emergent vegetation.

Behavior

Copulation 30 minutes; egg laying in tandem into surface or submerged vegetation.

Flight Period

Mid-May to late August over southern half of Great Britain.

azudam

Status

Common

Locations

azure-damselfly-coenagrion-puella

Variable Damselfly Coenagrion pulchellum

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Length

23-30mm; Wingspan: Male 42mm; Female 42mm; Hindwing 16-23mm

Male

Coenagrion Spur’ on side of thorax, also present on Azure Damselfly, but absent on Common Blue Damselfly. Antehumeral stripes are usually broken, sometimes they can be absent or complete. Wine glass marking on segment two of the abdomen. Segment nine contains a square with three points (three pointed crown). Overall appears more slender and darker than the similar Azure Damselfly. Can be confirmed by the strongly trilobate margins of the pronotum.

Male Variable Damselfly at Broomfleet Washlands on 19/05/2010 - © Paul Ashton

Female

‘Coenagrion Spur’ on side of thorax, also present on Azure Damselfly, but absent on Common Blue Damselfly. Antehumeral stripes are usually complete. Black thistle shape on segment two. Blue form, blue on top of the abdomen. Dark form, similar to Azure Damselfly is not as numerous. Overall appears bluer than the similar Azure Damselfly.

Note: The shape of the pronotum is the only conclusive way to seperate this species from Azure Damselfly. Personal observations have highlighted that female Variable Damselflies have a bar between the eye spots, which is absent in Azure Damselfly.

Variable Damselfly at Broomfleet Washlands on 11/05/2009 - © Paul Ashton

28042011-vardam-female-broomfleet-paulashton

Gallery

Variable Damselfly Gallery

Behaviour

Mainly encountered near the waters margins. Immatures often found in adjacent grassy areas. Shelter in the lee of bushes or hedgerows in windy weather.

Habitat

Stagnant or slow moving water such as grazing-marshes, ditches, ponds, lakes and canals which are well vegetated. Can be restricted to small colonies despite there being obvious surrounding suitable habitat.

Flight Period

National: Late April to mid-August, though more usually mid-May to early August.
Yorkshire: Mid-May to late June.

vardam

Status

After a tentative report in 2006, now confirmed as being present in East Yorkshire. Currently restricted to the Broomfleet Washlands complex. This is currently the only species present in Yorkshire that is of national importance due to its near threatened status.

Locations

variable-damselfly-coenagrion-pulchellum

Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum

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Length

32mm, Wings 36-42mm

Male

Bright blue body with black markings on upper surface of abdomen, segment 2 has lollipop mark; segment 8 and 9 all blue; broad antehumeral stripes on black thorax; eye spot linked by bar.

Male Common Blue Damselfly at Broomfleet Washlands on 23/05/2010 - © Paul Ashton.

 

Female

3 colour forms:-
1) abdomen with black markings.
2) Green with black markings.
3) Brown with black markings. All have characteristic medial spine under segment 8, presumably puncturing plant material before inserting an egg.

17062010-comblu-female-reiverhertford-paulashton

 

Gallery

Common Blue Damselfly Gallery

Habitat

Canals, gravel pits, lakes, ponds and slow moving rivers.

Behavior

Pairs lay eggs into stems of vegetation, female often immersing, when male will detach from her. Male will pull her out if she has difficulty. Larvae 2 years. Adults feed around grasses catching small insects.

Flight Period

Mid-May to late September.

Status

Occurs on a wide range of varying water-bodies. Can be more conspicuous than the similar Azure Damselfly. Blue damselflies ranging far over open water are usually this species. Generally the most abundant blue damselfly at sites, where the Azure can be absent.

Locations

common-blue-damselfly-enallagma-cyathigerum

Common Hawker Aeshna juncea

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Length

74mm, Wings 95mm.

Males

Thorax top is black , narrow yellow antehumeral stripes and sides are brown with 2 narrow yellow thoracic stripes; abdomen black with pairs of yellow and blue spots including segments 9 and 10; legs black; wings have brilliant yellow costa.

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Females

Thorax brown; abdomen brown with paired yellow spots, sometimes green, rarely blue. Leading edge of the wing yellow.

23072010-comhaw-female-skipwith-paulashton

 

Gallery

Common Hawker Gallery

Habitat

Acidic moorland and heath land pools, of which there is little in the East Riding.

Behavior

Males seize upon females, mate for up to 1 hour in nearby vegetation. Female oviposits alone. Larvae 2+ years.

Flight Period

Late June – October. Found in Scotland, Wales and Western half of England including parts of Lincolnshire and North Yorks Moors.

Locations

common-hawker-aeshna-juncea

Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta

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Length

63mm, Wings 87mm

Males

Thorax brown with broad thoracic stripes, with short indistinct antehumeral stripes; abdomen brown, yellow triangle mark on segment 2, separate pairs of blue spots along rest of abdomen; legs brown; eyes bluish; wings have brown costa.

Migrant Hawker at Spurn on 25/08/2009. - © Michael Flowers.

 

Females

Thorax antehumeral stripes very restricted, often missing; abdomen brown with small yellow-brown spots; long anal appendages. Brown costa, leading edge to the wing.

Female Migrant Hawker at North Cave Wetlands on 01/09/2009. - © Paul Ashton.

 

Gallery

Migrant Hawker Gallery

Habitat

Canals, ditches, gravel pits, lakes, ponds rivers and streams.

Behavior

Males patrol just above water level. Copulation takes up to 2 hours in taller vegetation. Females lay eggs alone into floating plants. Larvae 1-2 years.

Flight Period

Late July – October. Found in Southern and Central England; gradually spreading through Yorkshire.

Locations

migrant-hawker-aeshna-mixta

Southern Hawker Aeshna cyanea

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Length

70mm, Wings 98mm.

Males

Thorax – green and brown with broad green antehumeral stripes; abdomen – yellow triangle segment 2, green spots segments 3-8; undivided blue spots segments 9-10; wings brownish tinge; legs brown-black.

22082007-souhaw-male-northcliffe-paulashton

 

Females

Thorax – green and brown with broad green antehumeral stripes; abdomen brown with green spots, undivided green spots on segments 9-10.

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Gallery

Southern Hawker Gallery

Habitat

Canals, ditches and ponds at lower levels.

Behavior

Males prefer to avoid competition with other males. Copulation takes up to 2 hours. Females lay eggs unaccompanied. Larvae 2 years.

Flight Period

Mid-July to end of September. Found throughout England and Wales, gradually spreading northwards.

Locations

southern-hawker-aeshna-cyanea

Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis

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Length

73mm, Wings 102mm.

Males

Thorax brown; abdomen brown with bright blue spots at sides; wings characteristically honey brown colour; legs pale brown.

01072011-brohaw-male-weltonwaters-barrywarrington

 

Females

As males except blue spots on abdomen replaced with yellow markings.

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Gallery

Brown Hawker Gallery

Habitat

Canals, ditches, lakes , ponds and slow rivers.

Behavior

Hunt late in day often catching prey by street light (photo of wings which were found on street pavement). Males patrol at head height. Females lay eggs alone into water plants or damp wood. Breeds in a variety of standing or slow moving water sites. Can be encountered several miles away from water feeding along woodland edges or rides.

Flight Period

The national flight period is from mid-June to early October. The East Riding flight period is detailed in the chart below and is based on current records.

Locations

brown-hawker-aeshna-grandis

Emperor Dragonfly Anax imperator

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Length

78mm Wings, 106mm.

Males

Thorax bright green; abdomen blue with black central line; legs black; eyes green; wings clear with yellow costa.

Male Emperor Dragonfly at Farnham Lakes on 11/07/2009. - © Stuart Roebuck.

 

Females

Generally greenish with thicker black central abdominal line.

02072011-empdra-tophilllow-paulashton

 

Gallery

Emperor Dragonfly Gallery

Habitat

Canals, gravel pits, lakes and ponds.

Behavior

Males have strong flight, flying low over territorial waters. Females lay eggs alone into floating vegetation.

Flight Period

Late May to mid-August. In Great Britain found in most of England and Wales, south of Lancashire/ Humber. Gradually spreading through the East Riding.

Locations

emperor-dragonfly-anax-imperator

Hairy Dragonfly Brachytron pratense

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Male

The only ‘Hawker’ species flying during May and much of June, with a slight overlap with Southern Hawker at the end of June. Thorax and abdomen distinctly hairy. Side of the thorax predominantly green, lacking the paired thoracic stripes of other ‘hawker’ species, with tapering green antehumeral stripes on the top. Abdomen has small blue paired spots.

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Female

Thorax and abdomen distinctly hairy. Side of the thorax predominantly green, lacking the paired thoracic stripes of other ‘hawker’ species, with restricted, or absent, antehumeral stripes on the top. Abdomen has small yellow paired spots.

Female Hairy Dragonfly at Broomfleet on 12/05/2011 - © Paul Ashton.

 

Gallery

Hairy Dragonfly Gallery

Status

Recent colonist to VC61 with good numbers found along Leven Canal. Scarce in VC63 with recent records from Campsall Country Park and Potteric Carr.

Locations

hairy-dragonfly-brachytron-pratense

Golden-ringed Dragonfly Cordulegaster boltonii

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Male

Length 74mm, wings 100mm.

Predominantley black species, with yellow thoracic stripes and antehumeral stripes on the thorax, with yellow rings around the abdomen, slightly swollen towards the tip. Green eyes. Female Southern Hawkers sometimes confused with this species.

Male Golden-ringed Dragonfly at Fen Bog on 04/07/2009. - © Maurice Gordon.

Female

Length 84mm, wings 100mm.

Predominantley black species, with yellow thoracic stripes and antehumeral stripes on the thorax, with yellow rings around the parallel sided abdomen, ovipositor extending beyond segment 10. Green eyes. Female Southern Hawkers sometimes confused with this species.

09072011-goldra-newtondale-grahamfeatherstone

Both

Black with yellow markings, as rings on abdomen; eyes greenish; legs black; female has sharp ovipositor; wings clear with leading edges (costa) yellow.

Gallery

Golden-ringed Dragonfly Gallery

Habitat

Streams and rivers with silt, gravel or stone base in upland areas or lowland heath.

Behavior

Eggs laid in bed of stream, etc. Larvae 2-5 years.

Flight Period

Early June to end August. Basically a moorland species hence found chiefly in western side of Great Britain. Colonies present in North Yorkshire Moors. Occasional specimens seen in East Yorkshire are presumably vagrants. Has been recorded at Tophill Low and Flamborough Head.

Locations

golden-ringed-dragonfly-cordulegaster-boltonii

Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata

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Length

43mm, Wings 76mm

Males

Four-spotted Chaser at Tophill Low - 02/07/2011
Thorax brown, no antehumeral stripes; abdomen brown, last 4 segments darker than the rest, yellow spots on sides; wings dark patches at nodes on leading edges and at bases of rear wings.

 

Females

Four-spotted Chaser - Libellula quadrimaculata
Similar to males, main difference is the shape of the anal appendages.

 

Gallery

Four-spotted Chaser Gallery

Habitat

All types of still water.

Behavior

Males often use 1 perch, fiercely territorial towards other dragonflies. Rapid mating in flight. Females drop eggs into water. Larvae 2 years.

Flight Period

Mid-May – mid-August.

Locations

four-spotted-chaser-libellula-quadrimaculata

Broad-bodied Chaser Libellula depressa

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Length

44mm, Wings 76mm

Males

Broad-bodied Chaser - Libellula depressa
Thorax brown, pale, broad antehumeral stripes; brown patches at base of wings; broad abdomen blue with yellow spots at sides, legs brown, eyes brown.

Females

Broad-bodied Chaser
Thorax brown, pale, broad antehumeral stripes; abdomen yellowish brown with yellow spots along sides; wings brown base areas.

Immatures

Both sexes yellowish.

Gallery

Broad-bodied Chaser Gallery

Habitat

Occurs on areas of standing water, favouring small open ponds or ditches.

Behavior

Male aggressive, protects its territory, often resting on same perch. Females seized and rapidly mated. Female lays eggs alone, with male in vicinity. Eggs dropped into water. Larvae 2 years.

Status

A species that is expanding its range. Scarce in the East Riding, though breeding is probably taking place at several sites. Can visit garden ponds which could be a good source of records.

Flight Period

From mid-May to early August.

Locations

broad-bodied-chaser-libellula-depressa

Black-tailed Skimmer Orthetrum cancellatum

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Length

50mm, Wings 78mm

Males

Black-tailed Skimmer - Orthetrum cancellatum
Thorax black, no antehumeral stripes; Abdomen top is blue with yellow spots towards sides, black tip; legs black.

Females

Black-tailed Skimmer - Orthetrum cancellatum
All yellow with 2 black bands on upper surface abdomen.

Gallery

Black-tailed Skimmer Gallery

Habitat

Prefers lakes, ponds, gravel workings, slow rivers or marshes, with exposed mud, stones or bare patches where the male can perch.

Behavior

Brief mating, female lays eggs unattended. Larvae 2-3 years.

Status

VC61 – A recent colonist to the area. Can be seen well at North Cave Wetlands were conditions are currently ideal for this species, however it may become less favorable as the site matures. Appears to be probably breeding at Tophill Low as numbers have increased over the last few years, though it is difficult to locate. Recorded with some regularity at Spurn with first records in 2004 from Welton Waters and Paull Holme Strays.

Flight Period

Nationally the flight period is from mid-May to late August.

Locations

black-tailed-skimmer-orthetrum-cancellatum

Keeled Skimmer Orthetrum coerulescens

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Length

36-46mm; Wingspan: Male 57-63mm; Hindwing 28-34mm; Larva: 17-23mm

Males

Keeled Skimmer at Tranmire Bog - 03/07/2011
Dark brown thorax with buff antehumeral stripes, which fade with age. When mature the abdomen is blue, except S1. Blue grey eyes. Wings have a yellow tint when immature which clear as they mature. Pale yellow costa and orange pterostigma. Blue grey eyes.

Females

Keeled Skimmer - Orthertrum coerulescens
Dark brown thorax with buff antehumeral stripes. The abdomen is a yellow/brown colour with a thin dark keel line down the centre. Pale yellow costa and orange pterostigma.

Gallery

Keeled Skimmer Gallery

Behavior

Males have small territories observing them from the ground or low perches. Copulation occurs on the ground and can last anything from 2-60 minutes. Flight is fast and erratic with brief spells of hovering. Wings are held well forward when at rest. Females spend a lot of time resting in vegetation not far from water.

Habitat

Acidic wet heath and peaty moorland sites typically with sphagnum mosses, frequents pools, runnels and streams.

Flight Period

National: Mid-may to late September, usually early June to late August.
Yorkshire: Mid-June to early August.

keeski

Status

Confined to VC62 where it appears to be present in suitable sites surrounding Fylingdales Moor.

Locations

keeled-skimmer-orthetrum-coerulescens

Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum

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Length

37mm, Wings 57mm.

Males

Common Darter - Sympetrum striolatum
Thorax brown with yellow patches on sides; abdomen orange/red with black central line last 2 segments ; legs black/yellow; eyes brownish; black line on top of the frons only.

 

Females

Common Darter - Sympetrum striolatum
Thorax pale brown with yellow side panels; abdomen yellow with black central line segments 9-10 and along sides. Old females tend to take on male colours.

 

Gallery

Common Darter Gallery

Habitat

Any water.

Behavior

Find many males together over water. Eggs laid in tandem, eggs flipped into water. Larvae 1 year.

Flight Period

Mid-June to October. Found throughout England and Wales except very high ground.

Locations

common-darter-sympetrum-striolatum

Red-veined Darter Sympetrum fonscolombii

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Length

40mm, Wings 63mm

Male

Male Red-veined Darter at Hornsea Mere on 02/07/2009. - © Paul Ashton.

Brick red colour with central black line on segments 8 and 9; basal veins of wings near leading edges are red with a yellow patch at the base of the hind wing; underside of eyes are blue.

Females

20070909reddarfeastlea1.jpg

Body yellow with central black line on segments 8 and 9; yellow patch at base of hind wings and veins at front edge of wings also yellow; underside of eyes blue.

Gallery

Red-veined Darter Gallery

Habitat

Vagrant from Europe, although it has colonized some areas of Great Britain. In the East Riding the best site is the scrape in Clubley’s field at Spurn Point. Shallow ponds, pools and ditches.

Flight Period

June – August.

Locations

red-veined-darter-sympetrum-fonscolombii

Yellow-winged Darter Sympetrum flaveolum

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Length

34mm, Wings 55mm

Male

20060728yeldarmreighton3.jpg

Thorax reddish-brown, and abdomen orange-red. Yellow suffusion to basal half of wings and veins.

Females

Thorax and abdomen yellow-brown. Yellow suffusion to basal half of wings and veins less extensive than males.

Gallery

Yellow-winged Darter Gallery

Habitat

Vagrant from Europe, marshy pools, lakes and ditches.

Flight Period

June – September.

Locations

yellow-winged-darter-sympetrum-flaveolum

Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum

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Length

34mm, Wings 55mm.

Males

Ruddy Darter - Sympetrum sanguineum
Thorax brown with 2 thin black lines on sides; abdomen narrow waist, rich red colour; face red; legs all black; line over frons spreads down the sides.

 

Females

Ruddy Darter - Sympetrum sanguineum
Yellowish throughout with black markings on sides of thorax and abdomen; legs all black.

 

Gallery

Ruddy Darter Gallery

Habitat

Canals, ditches, lakes, gravel pits and ponds.

Behavior

Males defend territory. Capture females to mate in taller vegetation. Egg laying in tandem, flicking eggs into water. Larvae 1 year.

Flight Period

Late-June to October. In Great Britain found in southern and central England, including the East Riding, and spreading northwards.

Locations

ruddy-darter-sympetrum-sanguineum

Black Darter Sympetrum danae

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Length

32mm, Wings 47mm

Males

Black Darter - Sympetrum danae
Narrow waist on black abdomen with golden spots segment 1 and 2, 8 and 9; thorax 2 yellow bars on side, 1 of black panels has 3 yellow spots; legs black.

 

Females

Black Darter - Sympetrum danae
Yellow with black triangle top of thorax; legs black.

 

Gallery

Black Darter Gallery

Habitat

Prefers shallow acidic pools or bogs, with abundant emergent vegetation on Lowland Heaths or Moorland Bogs.

Status

VC61 – In the East Riding, breeding populations are confined to Skipwith Common, where it is the most abundant species, and a small colony at Allerthorpe Common. Adults are wanderers and can turn up many miles away from known sites, however it is also an immigrant, which could account for the coastal records.

Flight Period

The national flight period is mid-July to mid-September.

Locations

black-darter-sympetrum-danae