The Dragonflies and Damselflies of Rushcliffe
Recorder: Dave Goddard Send your odonata records to:
Mr David Goddard
30 Cliffe Hill Avenue,
Banded Demoiselle Calopteryx splendens Quite common and found along the Trent and the Grantham Canal. Favours slow-flowing watercourses like the R Soar and some stretches of the R Trent but not static lakes.
Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa Present at Holme Pierrepont and along the Grantham Canal
Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula Has visited my garden pond and recorded on the Grantham Canal near Kinoulton. It is the earliest species to fly each season.
Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans Along with the Common Blue and Azure Damselflies, this is one of the most abundant species found on static waterbodies throughout the borough.
Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella Very common but needs careful observation to distinguish from the equally common, Common Blue.
Variable Damselfly Coenagrion pulchellum Scarce or very scarce. I've only found it on the Grantham Canal between Kinoulton and Hickling.
Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum Very common and widespread, but does not use rapidly-flowing streams.
Red-eyed Damselfly Erythromma najas Seemingly quite local, but recorded from Holme Pierrepont, on Wolds Lakes near Keyworth and on the Grantham Canal at Kinoulton.
Small Red-eyed Damselfly Erythromma viridulum This species is extending its range and the first Nottinghamshire record was in 2006 at Cotgrave CP. I'm not clear as to its current status but look for it on lakes with mats of weed at the surface.
Southern Hawker Aeshna cyanea A common species that is widespread and will use garden ponds for breeding. If you think you've seen a 'common' hawker in south Notts, it's almost certainly this species.
Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis Somewhat local but easily found along the Grantham Canal near Hickling where I've counted up to 50 in a few hundred metres stretch. Will wander considerable distances and turn up away from favoured breeding sites.
Common Hawker Aeshna juncea To my great surprise, this species has accepted records from Nottinghamshire; the DaNES report for 2010 (published late 2014) states 8 Nottinghamshire records for 2009-10 and says that all were from 'the southern part of the county'. Indeed, the BDF website shows records from Holme Pierrepont, Ruddington Moor, Rushcliffe CP, Sharphill Wood, Old Wood and Barnstone. The species is restricted to acid heathland which is most certainly not a feature of south Notts and unless they are prone to vagrancy (for which they are not known), I think all accepted Notts records (with the likely exception of those in the Idle Valley carrlands of the far north) are in error.
Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta Common and widespread. Can be very numerous well away from water as in the rides of Cotgrave Forest in September.
Emperor Dragonfly Anax imperator This, the largest British dragonfly is found at Holme Pierrepont and Rushcliffe CP and at other large sheets of still water but also at much smaller still waters including Wilford Claypits. The species colonised Nottinghamshire in the 1980s.
Lesser Emperor Anax parthenope This is a vagrant species to Britain but one was seen at Holme Pierrepont in 1998.
Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata Widespread and fairly common. Occurs along the Grantham Canal.
Broad-bodied Chaser Libellula depressa The more common of the two chasers occuring widely and often far from water. Prone to perch on hedges and lap up the autumn sunshine.
Black-tailed Skimmer Orthetrum cancellatum Occurs at Holme Pierrepont and Wilford Claypits but in low numbers and not common or not present elsewhere.
Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum Common throughout. Frequently seen sunbathing on towpaths and other stony tracks. Lays eggs in fast flowing streams as well as garden ponds.
Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum Far less frequent than the Common Darter but occurs at Holme Pierrepont and it is worth carefully checking all the darters for this one.