Thursday 1 August 2019

Hull Dragons: July summary

July is peak dragonfly season, most of the early species are still on the wing, and the last of the high summer species have emerged too. Hull Dragons has now a total of 180 records in iRecord, from 34 km2 surveyed (28 of them in July) yielding a grand total of 15 species. All but Broad-bodied Chaser, an early season species, have been recorded during July at iRecord.
Survey coverage: 34 km2.
Four new species have been added to the survey this month: Southern Hawker, Common Darter, Brown Hawker and Small Red-eyed Damselfly. Evidence of breeding has been obtained for all four but Brown Hawker.

Southern Hawker
The first record of Southern Hawker was at Pearson park Wildlife Garden pond. A number of fresh exuviae were collected between the 2nd and the 8th of July from the emergent vegetation in and around the pond.
Southern Hawker exuviae, Pearson Park wildlife garden.

Two exuviae and observations of an individual getting into a house were obtained at a private Avenues pond. Other records include an individual flying by Oak Road and two or three at Noddle Hill Lake.
Immature Southern Hawker at Noddle Hill Lake.

Banded Demoiselle
The excellent Banded Demoiselle year continues, with more records and additional sites for this species by the River Hull at Thearne, at Mill Beck, Cottingham and at the Boating Lake at Peter Pan Park (Costello Stadium).
Female Banded Demoiselle by the River Hull at Ennerdale.

Emperor Dragonfly
After a few sightings in the last week of June, it is peak season for this species, which has now been recorded at 10 sites. Males were patrolling and defending territories at East Park, Pickering Park, Foredyke Green, Ennerdale South pond and Beverley and Barmston Drain. A female was observed ovipositing at Ennerdale South pond
Male Emperor by the Beverley and Barmston drain.
Female Emperor ovipositing, Costello Stadium boating lake.

Black-tailed Skimmers
The first Black-tailed skimmer record was at the end of June, but it is in this month that they become more common. They have been recorded at 4 sites, with 8 records: Ennerdale South pond, East Park, Noddle Hill LNR and a private avenues pond. Ovipositing was observed at Ennerdale South Pond.
Ovipositing female and guarding male Black-tailed skimmer at Ennerdale South Pond. The male confronted the resident Emperor while the female oviposited.
One of several territorial male Black-tailed Skimmers at East Park.
Azure Damselfly
Azure Damselflies have now been recorded in 13 km2. Evidence of breeding in the form of mating and ovipositing has been obtained in several sites.
Azure Damselflies mating, Pearson Park wildlife garden.

Ruddy darter
Ruddy darters have been found in Noddle Hill LNR, Oak Road Lake, Midmeredales Pond (several tenerals) and a private pond in the Avenues.
Ruddy Darter, Oak Road Lake.

Common Darter
The first Common Darter in the area was at Ennerdale S Pond on the 4th July, where several tenerals were found in the vegetation by the pond. More tenerals and darter exuviae were found at an avenues private garden where both Ruddy and Common Darters have been recorded. At least two individuals and three exuviae were found at Pearson Park Wildlife Garden. This species has a long flight season and roams away from water before settling to breed so hopefully more records will be added as the season progresses.
Common darter, private avenues pond.

Blue-tailed damselfly
No matter the weather, even during cloudy or muggy days or the habitat, which includes polluted water or fish ponds, the Blue-tailed damselfly always saves the day. I was pleased to find the 'rufescens' female form at the pond in the Museums Garden in the city centre, where the species is very abundant. This form also occurs at East Park. We now have records from 18 squares in the recording area.

Small red-eyed damselflies

The first sighting of this species this year was at East Park, with dozens of pairs ovipositing in both main lake and boating lake on 13th and 25th of July. Two individuals were recorded at St Andrew’s Quay pond and there is also a record at a garden pond at Skidby. The new locations indicate that this species is likely to become more common and widespread.
Resting male.
Small red-eyed damselflies ovipositing, East Park boating lake.
Red-eyed Damselfly
More records for this species were obtained for East Park and Noddle Hill. A teneral female at Noddle Hill provided evidence of successful breeding at this site.
Red-eyed Damselfly, Noddle Hill Lake.
Teneral female Red-eyed Damselfly, Noddle Hill lake.

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