Sunday 2 June 2019

Hull Dragons: May summary

The Hull dragons survey is well under way, and this post summarises the records from the month of May as returned from iRecord. The survey kickstarted with the first damselfly record on the 13th May, two Common Blue damselflies recorded by Richard Shillaker at St Andrews Quay. As of today, 17 records of 5 species from 6 km2 during the month of May in the Hull area. Blue-tailed and Azure (top shot) damselflies have been the most common and widespread, followed by a few Common Blue, and a single Red-eyed damselfly at Oak Road Lake spotted by Richard Shillaker. The mass emergence of Broad-Bodied Chasers at Pearson Park wildlife garden from May 22nd appears to continue. The following are a selection of photos illustrating the species found and evidence of breeding, which so far have been for Azure damselfly (pairs in copula at Pearson Park Wildlife Garden), Common Blue Damselfly (pair in tandem at Oak Road Lake) and Broad-bodied Chaser (several exuviae and a teneral maiden fly at Pearson Park Wildlife Garden).
Pearson Park Wildlife Garden has been a great place to stop by on my way back from work to check on damselflies and dragonflies. The following have all been taken there in the last week.
A just emerged likely Azure damselfly.

Emerging damselfly larvae.
Mating Azure damselflies.
Two mating Tetanocera Sciomyzid flies on a dead damselfly. Thanks to Ian Andrews for ID.
The reflecting wings of this Broad-bodied Chaser show it has just emerged. It flew from the pond into a stump and then up into the trees.
The exuvia of a Broad-bodied Chaser clinging to vegetation in the middle of the pond.
 I have visited Oak Road lake a couple of times. Blue-tailed damselflies have been plentiful.
Two blue-tailed damselflies resting in the marginal vegetation.

I have had some informal accounts of other dragonfly records, including a Four-spotted Chaser at Kingswood and a Broad-bodied Chaser at Snuff Mill Lane, but without them being entered in iRecord we can't compile them. Please send any records you get to iRecord, ideally using the taxon specific form for dragonflies. Complete lists are ideal, and if you can also add breeding details that'd be great!

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