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.

Thursday 23 July 2015

Dragonfly Exuviae

Having bought the Field Guide to the larvae and exuviae of British Dragonflies book, I've been having a go at identifying any exuviae I find. We're lucky enough to have a digital microscope in the Wildlife Trust offices so here are some microscope photos of a Broad Bodied Chaser exuviae found on Coity Wallia commons on 4.7.15. I found it about 10m from a pond in Rhos pasture.

I initially narrowed it down to a chaser or skimmer going off body shape and size, then used the following features to identify it as a Broad-bodied Chaser male.

This specimen was slightly confusing as the distinction between chasers and skimmers is the dorsal spine on segment 8, which is missing in skimmers, as in this specimen. However, the black-tailed skimmer is also missing a dorsal spine on segment 7, unlike this specimen. Keeled skimmer does have a small dorsal spine but not usually as large as this one and this exuviae was found in unlikely habitat. I therefore concluded that it is a chaser, though I am just beginning on exuviae identification so please do correct me if I'm wrong!  

Deep serrations in front margin of labial palps, identified this specimen as a broad-bodied chaser rather than a four-spotted  chaser which has much shallower serrations. 

Underside faintly showing male accessory genitalia on segment 3

I'm finding it really interesting, although I have not been brave enough to try any damselflies yet!
Hope you enjoy seeing the close up pictures of the exuviae.

Tuesday 21 July 2015

Parc Cwm Darren 19th July

After Penallta I spent a few hours at P.C.D. where the fine weather brought out the Dragons. At the Dragonfly pond all the usual suspects were there, Two Emperors were fighting over control of the pond along with a male Broad-bodied Chaser and Two Four-spotted Chasers. Along the margins were Blue-tailed, Large Red, Azure and Emerald Damsels and near by a couple of female Common Darters.

A good day out


Still low numbers of R.V.D two photos from Saturday one with a broken wing

Monday 20 July 2015

Penallta Parc on the 19th July

Started off a bit windy at the horse-shoe ponds so everything was being blown about but when the wind dropped things calmed down a bit apart from an Emperor and Broad-bodied Chaser fighting over one of the pools. Alot of Azure and Large Red Damsel about but only one Blue-tailed Damsel, on One pool were a pair of Four-spotted Chasers with the female ovipositing also seen One Male Common Darter.

I then moved on to Parc Cwm Darren, Info and photos to follow.

Pysgodlyn Mawr Saturday 18th July

Led a dragonfly walk for the Wildlife Trust Bridgend group to Pysgodlyn Mawr on Saturday. The weather was lovely, if a bit windy, but we managed to see a good number of species.

Lots of azure and blue-tailed damsels and one large red damsel, a few four-spotted chaser, black-tailed skimmer, broad bodied chaser and a southern hawker in the ride in the woodland. I may also have seen a brief glimpse of a downy emerald but it was too fast to be 100% sure!

The highlight for me was the red-eyed damsels- there were a number of them on the wing and a few in cop. Have never seen them before so I was really pleased.

Record shot below from Margaret Samuels- the group were all very excited to see them too.


Pair linked up- photo by David Rich

Demoiselles - Bute Park 15 July

Wandered along the feeder canal in Bute Park looking for demoiselles. Not as many around as last year, and they persisted in keeping their distance but I managed to grab a couple of shots. Quite a few Blue-tailed and Azure Damselflies around as well.

Banded Demoiselle

Beautiful Demoiselle

Tuesday 14 July 2015

Emergence of Four-spotted Chaser

This is my first posting on this blog and is a re-posting from the East Glamorgan Wildlife blog. Mike Thornton suggested I place them here.

Called in Parc Slip on 25 June and was very fortunate to witness the emergence of a Four-spotted Chaser from the pupa. As is always the case, I didn't have the right lens with me but took pictures with what I had and hoped for the best. I have attached a set of photos, of variable quality, of the whole procedure as I saw it. The first image was taken at 10:51 and the final one at 12:31. One of nature's wonders and a privilege to watch.

Wednesday 1 July 2015

Pysgodlyn Mawr, Hensol

Just got back from hols in Scotland so payed a quick visit to Hensol. At the Pysgodlyn Mawr lake I caught a glimpse of a Downy Emerald but it stayed out towards the far reeds so was unable to get a picture. There were two Emperors plus alot of Black-tailed Skimmers patroling also One Four-spotted Chaser and a Female Broad-bodied Chaser. Along the waters edge there were the usual Damsels - Common, Azure, Large Red and Blue-tailed.
Then moved on to Llanerch Wood where the only Dragon seen was a single Emperor, there were plenty of Damsels but mainly Blue-tailed with alot in Tandem.