Saturday 29 June 2019

Dragonflies to watch for in July

In this third instalment of the series on dragonflies to watch out in and around Hull, I present four species that have their peak season in July.
9. Black-tailed Skimmer, Orthetrum cancellatum
A very distinctive dragonfly, with long narrow tapering abdomen (unlike Broad-bodied Chasers) and lacking dark marks on wing bases. Males (top shot) have a blue abdomen with black tip, females and immature are yellowish, with a ladder-like pattern (above) and green eyes. Flies from mid May to mid September, peaking in July. Likes open aspect ponds, where it likes to perch on bare ground. Fishing lake pontoons are a favoured perch (top shot). Existing records are from Oak Road Lake and Noddle Hill Lake.

10. Emperor Dragonfly, Anax imperator
This large green and blue dragonfly is spectacular. Males have a powerful patrolling flight over their territory, which includes large ponds, lakes and ditches. It flies from late May to late September, peaking mid-June to mid-August. Although a relatively recent colonist of the area records from the Hull area are widespread.
11. Emerald Damselfly, Lestes sponsa
This jewel of a damselfly perches with its wings open, unlike other damselflies. Males are green and blue (above), while females are all emerald green. Early June to end of September, peaking in July. Records in the Hull area are scarce: one each from Pearson Park Wildlife Garden, Noddle Hill, Oak Road and two from a private pond in the Avenues.

12. Brown Hawker, Aeshna grandis
A large dragonfly which can easily be identified in flight by its bronze-tinged wings. Very active, hawking high amongst trees or alongside ditches. It rarely settles. Early June to late September, peaking early July to late August. Records in the Hull area are from Oak Road Lake.

Happy dragonfly watching!

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