welcome note

On this blog you will be able to share sightings of Dragonflies and Damselflies within the recording area of VC41. However, sightings further afield will be welcome on this site also. To become an author of this blog please register by sending an email to vc41dragonfly@gmail.com and an invite will be sent to you. Alternatively if you want to record your sightings on this blog but do not wish to register then please email sightings with or without photos to the above address and they can be published for you. Please continue to record your sightings through the correct channels and details of these can be found above.

Friday 31 August 2012

Red-eyed Damselfly new to Carmarthenshire

Stephen and Anne Coker found a Red-eyed Damselfly on the Deep Water Lake, Penclacwydd, on 26/8/12. This constitutes the first record for Carmarthenshire and was a nice reward while carrying out a survey for the British Dragonfly Society new national atlas project. Paul Grennard and Clive Jones were also present not long after the male Red-eyed Dragonfly was located and provided assistance in viewing the damselfly through their scopes to confirm the diagnostic features.
Following hot on the heels of the Small Red-eyed damselfly, a recent new arrival in Wales, it is hoped that these Damselflies will become a regular feature in the area and add to the diversity of Odonata which already occur.

Tuesday 28 August 2012

Keeled Skimmer at Crymlyn Bog

male Keeled Skimmer
 A walk around the various Dragonfly areas at Crymlyn Bog, today, was rewarding. Quite apart from the dragons on view, this was the first time I have walked the new boardwalk since it was opened earlier this year. There are now a number of different areas which look good for odonata, and all fairly close to the centre car park.
male Keeled Skimmer
A good showing of Keeled Skimmer with 10+ including 2 tandem pairs.

Totals: 10+ Keeled Skimmer, 4 Common Hawker, 1 Emperor Dragonfly, 20 Common Darter, 20 Emerald Damselfly, 1 Blue-tailed Damselfly and 1 Common Blue Damselfly

Monday 27 August 2012

Small Red Damselfly in Pembs

tandem pair Small Red Damselfly
 Thanks to Paul Grennard I was able to catch up with some Small Red Damselflies at Dowrog Common, yesterday. The weather was fantastic, for a change, and I noted 22 in flight here including 6 tandem pairs.
male Small Red Damselfly
 During yesterday's visit I only noticed the female form erythrogastrum, which has a completely red abdomen like the male. The male does differ from the female, in having more developed antehumeral stripes, but these are hardly pronounced and in certain lighting can be very difficult to see.
female Small Red Damselfly
 A reliable feature that I find for separating male from female is by comparing the structural differences, whereby the abdomen of the female is fairly consistent in thickness along it's length; the male is much more variable especially when concentrating on S1, S2 (both quite thick) compared to S3 (which tapers along its length).
male Small Red Damselfly
Other Species noted:
1 male Emperor Dragonfly, 1 male Common Hawker, 20+ Common Darter, 10 Emerald Damselfly and 6 Blue-tailed Damselfly

Sunday 19 August 2012

Small Red-eyed Damselfly at WWT Llanelli

male Small Red-eyed Damselfly
Rob Taylor found some Small Red-eyed Damselfly flying in front of the Sir Peter Scott hide at Penclacwydd, this afternoon. I managed to get down to see them late afternoon by which time, the numbers on view from the hide had risen to being 50+. Alongside the good numbers of very territorial males, an ovipositing tandem pair was also on view.
Apart from size the diagnostic features for male Small Red-eyed Damselfly are found on the abdomen, which is divided into 10 segments. Segment 1 (S1) is attached to the thorax, and the segments are numbered sequentially to Segment 10 (S10) which is the very end segment. On male Small Red-eyed Damselfly there is more blue on the abdomen, S1 is completely blue and blue is found on the side of S2 and even the underside of S3. On male Red-eyed Damselfly the blue near the thorax is confined to S1 only. The other difference lies at the the other end of the abdomen; male Small Red-eyed Damselfly show complete blue on S10 and S9 but also a significant amount of blue on the side and underside of S8. On male Red-eyed Damselfly the blue is confined to S10 and S9.
I've included a record shot of a male Red-eyed Damselfly, taken earlier in the year at Neath Canal, for comparison.
male Red-Eyed Damselfly
The Small Red-eyed Damselfly was first discovered in the UK in 1999, at Essex (Brooks). Since then it has been spreading west through England but that expansion seems to have slowed considerably recently. An early feeling is that this find may represent one of, if not the, first records for Wales. However, similar resources show a lack of Red-eyed Damselfly in Wales when we know it has been established for a number of years. It will be interesting to hear news of any records previous to this one, from Wales. Whatever the case it is now in Llanelli and it would seem likely that it is to be found between there and the English border? With 50+ flying today it would appear that now is a good time to look for it.
I've attached a link below which will take you to the British Dragonflies website page for Small Red-eyed Damselfly where further photos and a distribution map can be found.


Migrants around the Gower

male Migrant Hawker
 Migrant Hawkers present at 3 locations, yesterday afternoon. 1 in flight below the lifeguard lookout at Tutt Head, another in flight over Oxwich Beach and 3 around the fields at Weobley Castle.
male Migrant Hawker

Tuesday 14 August 2012

Roath park

Southern Hawker??
Spotted this one in Roath Park this afternoon, and it very obligingly sat still for a snap.  I have tentatively id'd it as a Southern Hawker - again if it isn't perhaps someone would let me know!

Monday 13 August 2012

Old Church area Rhoose Point

 A couple of photos from Rhoose - hopefully the id's are right, I'm very happy to be corrected if they are not!  Both these photos are taken from the area where the Scarce Blue-tailed Damselflies have been found in the past, and where I think some scrub clearance would be in order!  There were a couple of other Odonata species on the wing that afternoon, but these were the only two I could get close enough to have a good look at & photograph!

Blue-tailed Damsefly
Common Darter

Friday 10 August 2012

Broad Pool and surrounds 09/08/12

Paul Grennard visited this location yesterday and took some very nice records

Highlight : 7 Southern Damselfly

Also 12 Common Hawker, 15 Emperor Dragonfly, 10 Four-spotted Chaser, 3 Black-tailed Skimmer, 1 Keeled Skimmer, 30 Black Darter and 10 Common Darter.

30 Emerald Damselfly, 35 Common Blue Damselfly and 10 Blue-tailed damselfly

Wednesday 8 August 2012

Banded Demoiselle at Rheola

male Banded Demoiselle
 Encouraged by Jake's report of a good showing of Banded Demoiselles in Cardiff, yesterday, I continued my search for them in the Neath Valley, today. I've noticed that Banded Demoiselle's have been recorded between Tonna and Glyn-Neath in recent years and I've made a few searches for them. A couple of searches upstream from Tonna have been unsuccessful and one upstream from Resolven, following the river, which was also unsuccessful. Today however, was a 'red letter day' (for me), and a male Banded Demoiselle showed well just before Rheola Brook feeds under the A465 (SN84270395). As an added bonus it was joined for a little while by a male Beautiful Demoiselle and they battled for dominance along a prime stretch of vegetated bank in the sun.
male Banded Demoiselle

Tuesday 7 August 2012


10 Banded Demioselle on the Nant Fawr stream at Colchester Ave (Sainsbury's) 6/08.