Worcestershire Record No. 17 November 2004 p. 19


Mike Averill

It wasn’t a bad year weather-wise for observing insects with many of the summer months dry and warm and the only blemish was August which was exceptionally wet in the first week. This good weather was fitting for what was the 21st anniversary of the British Dragonfly Society and many events marking the occasion were held throughout the country.

In Worcestershire there were none of the expected visits from vagrant dragonflies and searches for Red-veined Darters at Pirton and Kinsham proved fruitless. It appears that Worcestershire is not yet quite suitable to sustain the continued presence of this dragonfly as it does in Southern England.

A concerted effort was made to look for the Small Red-red Damselfly Erythromma viridulum which has made a rapid spread from Essex in the last five years. This was prompted by a site being found in East Warwickshire. However it is was perhaps too early for it to have spread so far west just yet. Next year it will be useful to keep an eye out for this species as it is only a matter of time before it appears in Worcestershire.

Other more common species did well, starting with the Beautiful Demoiselle Calopteryx virgo which seamed to be found in many new locations and in good numbers. Later in the year Southern Hawkers Aeshna cyanea were to be seen just about everywhere, even in to late October. One species that had another disappointing year was the Club-tailed Dragonfly which once again emerged in low numbers. It is hoped that some survey work can be carried out next year to try and determine whether this is just a trend or something more worrying. (See separate appeal below for help on this project).

Most interesting of all was the discovery of the Scarce Chaser Libellula fulva which suddenly was to be found along the Avon as if it had always been there, but more of that elsewhere in this issue.

Scarce Chaser, Libellula fulva, male, photographed by the River Avon at Eckington 2004. Photo © Kevin McGee Scarce Chaser, Libellula fulva, male, photographed by the River Avon at Eckington 2004. Photo © Mike Averill


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