Friday 31 August 2012

Dragonfly Sightings needed

If you are lucky enough to be out on the estate on a sunny day, then keep an eye out for dragonflies and damselflies. The rarity of sunshine this summer has made them tricky to spot. Dragonflies are wonderful to watch, but are mostly quite easy to identify too, as there are not too many species in Scotland, though beware, the blue damselflies can be tricky!

Common hawker seen near the River Tilt.
It's large, black, blue and green and a very strong flier.

Black darter seen at Polney Loch
- Our smallest dragonfly, it emerges late so commonly seen in August / September

The British Dragonfly Society are producing a new dragonfly atlas for Britain. A new atlas is needed because climate change is affecting the range and emergence time of different dragonflies and some new species for Britain have also been recently recorded. Sightings in this area are generally low, so distribution data is quite poor. For more information on the areas most in need of new records visit . If you are confident in your identification, then send your sighting to the BDS - this is the last year to submit sightings before the production of the atlas next year.

If you get very keen you can go pond dipping to get the nymphs too. This doesn't need the sunshine and can get quite addictive (and quite muddy!). All dragonflies spend far more time as nymphs in the water than they do as adults. The nymphs can be identified to species level as well but it is tricky compared to the adults.

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