Rodley Nature Reserve

For full information on this Dragonfly Hotspot visit the Rodley Nature Reserve website.

Species List

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

North Cliffe Wood


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Habitat

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Reserve, mainly woodland with an area of heathland in the south-west corner, including a small pond.

Access

Take Cliffe Road from either Market Weighton or North Cave. Sands Lane runs west from the village of North Cliffe. Entrance to the reserve can be found at either end of the woodland fronting the lane. Best parking is found at the western entrance. Please stick to the footpath around the edge of the heath during the breeding season to avoid disturbance to ground nesting birds.

More Information

OS Map from BING Maps
North Cliffe Wood – YWT

Species List


Heathland Pond

Heathland Pond

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

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.

Beautiful Demoiselle - Calopteryx virgo

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.

Beautiful Demoiselle - Calopteryx virgo

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

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.

Distribution Map

Locations

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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

OS Map from BING Maps

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.

Broomfleet Washlands

Broomfleet Washlands - 08/06/2021
Broomfleet Washlands - 08/06/2021

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

OS Map from BING Maps

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

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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
Status

Abundant along occupied rivers and streams.

Locations
Distribution Map

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Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa

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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

Status

Found at many sites through all Vice-counties.

Locations
Distribution Map

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Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula

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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
Status

Evenly distributed across VC61-64, scarcer in VC65.

Locations
Distribution Map

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Red-eyed Damselfly Erythromma najas

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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

Preference for larger ponds, lakes and canals. Requires abundant floating vegetation, such as water-lilies Nymphaceae, or broad-leaved pondweed Potamogeton natans. When these are absent it may use floating algae mats, or rest on bankside vegetation.

Flight Period

Status

Species is at the northern edge of its range in Yorkshire.

Locations
Distribution Map

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Small Red-eyed Damselfly Erythromma viridulum

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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

During the day males appear constantly active, patrolling well away from the margin in search of females. Once copulation has taken place, they oviposit in tandem into stems and leaves of floating vegetation. They can often submerge for long periods of time. Larvae live among submerged water plants and emerge after one year on to floating vegetation.

Habitat

Ponds, lakes and ditches with plenty of floating vegetation such as Hornwort Ceratophyllum, Water-milfoil Myriophyllum and Waterweed Elodea. Also uses rafts of floating algae. Generally found in sheltered positions, with nearby trees and shrubs for roosting. Will tolerate brackish conditions.

Flight Period
Locations
Distribution Map

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Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans

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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

Often found in marginal vegetation in large numbers. Copulation last from between two to six hours, due to this, it is the most frequently observed species seen in the wheel position. Often females selected by the males are still in their immature colour forms. Females oviposit alone onto the tissue of aquatic plants and debris, where they are not usually harassed by the males. Frequently found in dull weather when other species are inactive. Larvae emerge after one to two years.

Habitat

Wide range including garden ponds, lakes, rivers, canals and ditches. Can also be found in brackish conditions and acidic peaty pools. More tolerant of pollution than other species, only really avoiding fast-flowing water. Readily disperses and is one of the first species to colonise new sites.

Flight Period
Status

Common and widespread throughout the area.

Locations
Distribution Map

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Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella

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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

Wide range of habitats from garden ponds, lakes, ditches, streams, canals and rivers to peaty pools. The main requirement is plenty of marginal vegetation in sheltered locations. Frequently settles on floating vegetation, as well as being readily found in adjacent grasslands and sheltered woodland edges.

Behavior

Not territorial. Copulation is prolonged on warm sunny days. Pairs oviposit in tandem into soft plant tissue, often submerging to do so. Larvae live among submerged vegetation and emerge after one year. Emergence takes place on marginal vegetation or flower spikes in the centre of water bodies. Females emerge first, followed a few days later by the males.

Flight Period
Status

Common

Locations
Distribution Map

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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

Males are none territorial. Copulation last around 10-15 minutes. Once copulation has taken place the pair will oviposit in tandem, into stems of floating water plants, or remains of rushes and common reed. The larvae develop in one year living among submerged vegetation.

Habitat

Fens, ponds, lakes, slow-flowing dykes, canals and peaty pools. Dependant on plenty of emergent vegetation. After emergence, tenerals require sheltered areas to mature, often being found in adjacent grasslands and in the lee of shrubbery and hedgerows.

Flight Period

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
Distribution Map

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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

Large ponds and lakes are the main preference for this species. Can also be found along canals and rivers, but will also tolerate brackish conditions. The most abundant Zygoptera found in open areas.

Behavior

The most dominant species on large lakes and reservoirs, swarming over the waters surface far from the banks in sunny conditions. Readily settles on emergent vegetation and is aggressive towards others, even driving away larger species. Copulation lasts for around 20 minutes, frequently away from water. Oviposits into submerged and emergent vegetation, usually in tandem. If the female submerges the male will uncouple, guarding the area waiting for her to re-emerge. Females can submerge for up to an hour. Larvae live amongst submerged vegetation emerging after 1-3 years. They mature in surrounding areas over a period of around 12 days.

Flight Period

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
Distribution Map

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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.

22082009-comhaw-male-skipwith-paulashton

 

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

Prefers acidic conditions, consisting of bog pools, ponds and lake margins on moorland and heathland. Will also use slow-flowing sections of upland streams. Requires areas of emergent vegetation to breed.

Behavior

Males are territorial, regularly chasing off intruders of any species. They are relentless flyers and can often be found active in dull conditions. Copulation takes from 60-75 minutes, with pairs usually settling amongst the heather, shrubs or trees. The female oviposits alone, inserting the eggs into submerged vegetation. Oviposition may take place in dull weather, when the first sign of activity is the sound of rustling wings in low vegetation. Larvae develop over a period of two or more years amongst the submerged vegetation. They emerge, usually at night, on emergent plant stems. They regularly wander away from breeding sites to feed in sheltered areas, such as woodland rides.

Flight Period

Locations
Distribution Map

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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

Still or slow-flowing waters including ponds, lakes, sand and gravel pits, reservoirs, slow-flowing rivers, canals and ditches. Will tolerate brackish conditions, though avoids acidic water.

Behavior

None territorial and often present in high densities with little sign of aggression. Frequently hovers, searching for females in marginal vegetation. Both sexes can be found well away from water in sheltered locations, such as woodland rides and hedgerows. Regularly found perched in the open. Copulation is lengthy and once complete, the female will oviposit alone. Oviposition usually occurs into emergent plants above the water, though occasionally in bare mud. Emergence usually occurs the following year, often during the night. Despite being abundant late in the season, few exuviae have been found. Those that have been recovered are usually found low down in thick vegetation. Due to the lack of breeding data, it would suggest that the majority of adults observed are migratory individuals.

Flight Period

Locations
Distribution Map

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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.

2003-souhaw-female-paulashton

 

Gallery

Southern Hawker Gallery

Habitat

Lakes and ponds, including small garden ponds where it is the most likely Aeshnidae to be encountered. Also found along canals and ditches. Will feed away from breeding sites, sometimes being encountered in sheltered areas, such as woodland rides and hedgerows.

Behavior

Males are territorial, with a single male usually found at a small pond. There is however a constant change of males throughout the day. This is an inquisitive species, often approaching close to the observer. They can be active in dull weather, often on the wing late into the evening, even hunting when it is raining. Copulation takes place away from water, lasting for around two hours. The female oviposits into waterside vegetation, moss or bare soil above water, often in poor weather. Larvae emerge after two to three years on tall marginal vegetation. They mature away from water over a four to six week period, before returning to suitable sites to breed.

Flight Period
Locations
Distribution Map

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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.

02072011-brohaw-tophilllow-paulashton

 

Gallery

Brown Hawker Gallery

Habitat

Lakes, ponds, gravel pits, canals, ditches and slow-flowing rivers. Will tolerate moderate levels of pollution.

Behavior

Males are territorial, even defending territories away from water. They are often observed hawking along woodland rides and hedgerows. This is a difficult species to approach when settled, the first sign of their presence is usually the rustling of wings, as the fly up from roosting places in tall grasses. Copulation is lengthy, the female then ovipositing into emergent floating vegetation, or decaying floating logs, where several females may oviposit together. Larvae emerge two to four years later at night, with the maiden flight taking place before dawn.

Flight Period

Locations
Distribution Map

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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

Ponds, lakes, gravel pits, dykes, canals and slow-flowing rivers with rich marginal vegetation, also tolerant of brackish conditions. Seldom found far away from water.

Behavior

Males are territorial, rarely more than one male is present at small locations. Constantly patrols its territory, which it defends vigorously. Will take prey as large as Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata. Copulation takes place away from water and lasts around ten minutes. The female then oviposits alone into submerged vegetation. Larvae emerge after two years on to tall emergent vegetation. Emergence is usually synchronous at site level.

Flight Period
Locations
Distribution Map

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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.

120511-hairdra-male-broomfleet-paulashton

 

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

Habitat

Ponds, lakes, canals, ditches, dykes and marshy fens with tall emergent vegetation, such as rushes, reeds and sedges. Requires abundant floating vegetation for oviposition.

Behaviour

Early flight period is characteristic. Quickly settles when the sun goes in, compared to other Aeshnidae species, making it less easy to find in dull conditions. Males are territorial and patrol in and out of vegetation at low level. Can be found away from water in sheltered areas, though males will generally not wander far. Females only come to water to find a mate and oviposit. Copulation is long, taking place in nearby trees and shrubs, or long vegetation along the banks. The female oviposits into decomposing floating vegetation.

Flight Period
Status

Mainly VC61 and VC63, currently expanding its range.

Locations
Distribution Map

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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
Locations
Distribution Map

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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

Prefers sites of still water consisting of lakes, ponds, bog pools, canals and dykes. Will tolerate brackish conditions. The largest concentrations are associated with acidic ponds and pools.

Behavior

Males are territorial, their noisy clashes are obvious where densities are high. Readily returns to the same perch on emergent vegetation, after sparring with other males, or after short patrols along the waters edge. Copulation is short taking place in flight, only lasting for 5-20 seconds. Female oviposits by flicking the abdomen tip downwards into the water. The eggs then sink and adhere to submerged vegetation. Males may stay close by to guard females during oviposition. Larvae live among the bottom debris, then emerge after two to four years. Emergence takes place amongst marginal vegetation during daylight hours.

Flight Period
Locations
Distribution Map

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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

Small lakes, ponds, garden ponds, ditches and canals with well-vegetated margins and sheltered sunny locations. Will use bog pools if they are not too acidic. Often, one of the first species to colonise new water bodies.

Behavior

Males are aggressively territorial, there seldom being more than one male at any small pond. They perch on stems of tall emergent vegetation, or on the ground, chasing off any intruding males that appear within their territory. Copulation takes place in flight, lasting for only a few seconds. The female oviposits by flicking the tip of her abdomen into the water rapidly, occasionally with the male guarding her nearby. Larvae live amongst the bottom debris, emerging after two to three years. Emergence at sites is usually synchronous on marginal and emergent vegetation.

Status

Widespread though scarce in VC65 Noert-east Yorkshire.

Flight Period
Locations
Distribution Map

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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

Highly territorial, males perch on bare areas of ground, typically on slightly raised areas such as stones, logs or bare soil, on the lookout for females and rival males. When patrolling over water they fly low, skimming over the surface. Copulation can take place in flight, where it will only last for a few seconds, though sometimes this can take place in vegetation where it may last up to 15 minutes. Oviposition occurs by dipping the abdomen into water, with the male often remaining nearby. Larvae live amongst the bottom silts, emerging after two to three years. Emergence usually takes place on vegetation, often several metres away from water.

Flight Period

Locations
Distribution Map

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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
Status

Confined to VC62 where it appears to be present in suitable sites surrounding Fylingdales Moor. Several records of dispersing individuals.

Locations
Distribution Map

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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

Preferences are quite catholic, including ponds, lakes, canals, ditches and slow-flowing rivers. It is tolerant of brackish conditions and peaty bog pools. Can be found away from breeding sites feeding in sheltered locations, like woodland rides and hedgerows.

Behavior

Males are territorial, spending a lot of time perched, only making short flights when disturbed or chasing off intruders. Basks on the ground, especially late in the season when temperatures are lower. Frequently found away from water in sheltered areas, especially females wanting to avoid attention from males. Copulation takes place at rest, lasting around 10-15 minutes. Oviposition regularly takes place in tandem, where the eggs are flicked into the water by dipping the abdomen onto the surface. Females will also oviposit alone. Larvae emerge after one year, this taking place during the morning, onto bare bank sides or emergent vegetation.

Flight Period

Locations
Distribution Map

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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.

Behavoiur

Males are territorial, perching on the ground or adjacent vegetation, only flying off to intercept intruders. Frequently hovers over open water. The pair usually oviposit in tandem in areas of shallow water. The warmer water in shallow conditions helps the larvae develop quickly, sometimes resulting in a second generation emerging in the same year. They are strongly migratory, with strong influxes in some years, then none in others. These irregular influxes make it difficult to assess if this species is breeding on a regular basis.

Flight Period

Locations
Distribution Map

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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

Locations
Distribution Map

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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

Marshes, ponds, lakes, canals and ditches, with plenty of tall emergent vegetation. Will tolerate brackish conditions, using woodland near to water bodies for shelter.

Behavior

Males are less aggressively territorial than Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum. They have a ‘skippy’ flight, being less direct than the latter species. Copulation lasts only a few minutes whilst perched on vegetation or the ground. The female will then oviposit either alone, or in tandem, amongst shaded vegetation. Larvae live among submerged plants and emerge after one year.

Flight Period

Locations
Distribution Map

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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

Behaviour

Males are not very territorial, with large numbers being present at some sites. Males hover over emergent vegetation, seeking females to mate with. They will frequently settle, especially on open ground and stones. In hot weather they will rest in the obelisk position, with abdomen pointing upwards, to reduce the surface area presented to the sun. Copulation lasts for several minutes, with oviposition taking place in tandem or alone. Oviposition takes place either directly into water, or into mud and mats of vegetation. Larvae emerge after one year and can survive the temporary drying out of their habitat.

Habitat

Mainly heaths containing boggy pools, peaty ponds and lakes with abundant emergent rushes and sedges. Sheltered sites produce the highest numbers. Sometimes disperses into atypical locations.

Flight Period

Locations
Distribution Map

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