Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Hull Dragons 2020: June summary

June has been a much more variable month than the dry and sunny May, with some rain, storms, more windy and more cloud. There were some good days for dragonfly watching, including a heat wave on the 3rd week, when temperatures reached 29°C in Hull. A total of 142 records of 13 species have been submitted during the month by 11 contributors. Foredyke Green Pond and East Park, with 7 species each, were the best sites in number of species. The only species recorded in May with no June records is the Large Red Damselfly. The Red-eyed Damselfly, Black-tailed Skimmer and Southern Hawker were added to the year list. An unidentified darter was recorded on the 25th June. 

My June odonate highlights
  • Watching a female Hairy Dragonfly coming to the shore by my feet at Noddle Hill fishing lake and start ovipositing on a dead branch was my highlight of the month. She moved on pretty fast before I could set the camera on her. As far as I know, this is the first time the species has been recorded ovipositing in the Hull area. 
  • Spotting a Red-eyed Damselfly at Foredyke Green, a new location for the species. 
  • At Ennerdale South Pond there was a strong damselfly emergence on the 2nd June. House Sparrows were feeding on them, sometime as I disturbed them and they flew up. As I watched and followed a female Banded Demoiselle by the river Hull, a house sparrow chased her and captured her!
  • Watching an ovipositing Broad-bodied chaser at Foredyke Green Pond.
  • Watching an Emperor and Hairy Dragonfly males patrolling and hunting on a stretch of the Beverley and Barmston drain, occasionally clashing.
  • As I was examining an emperor exuviae, I was surprised to see it moving, and a lodger emerged: a Larinioides cornutus spider! I had never seen spiders using dragonfly exuviae as retreats.
June species and breeding evidence

Southern Hawker. First and only record so far on the 26th June.
An emperor dragonfly resting briefly on plants near Foredyke Green pond.
Emperor Dragonfly. 13 records. Exuviae found at Foredyke Green Pond and Ennerdale South Pond.
Hairy Dragonfly. 2 records, with ovipositing female at Noddle Hill Lake.

Banded Demoiselle. 4 records from the 2nd June from River Hull, Ennerdale S Pond and Cottingham. Several records from Wawne.

Azure Damselfly. 30 records. Teneral at Beverley and Barmston Drain and Setting Dike. Oviposition noted at Pearson Park and Beverley and Barmston Drain.
Common Blue Damselfly. 19 records. Tenerals at Ennerdale S Pond. Mating pairs at Foredyke Green Pond and Ennerdale Pond.
Red-eyed Damselfly. Four records from four sites, the first on the 1st of June. They include a new site for the species, Foredyke Green Pond.
Female Blue-tailed Damselfly with Arrenurus mites (17th June).
Male Blue-tailed Damselfly with mites. Both at Foredyke Green pond (14th June). These are parasitic mites that feed on the host blood and drop to water once the host comes to mate to water. 
Blue-tailed Damselflies mating.
Blue-tailed Damselfly.
Blue-tailed Damselfly. 33 records, the most commonly recorded species. Tenerals were found at Oak Road, Ennerdale S Pond and Setting Dyke, oviposition was recorded at Beverley and Barmston Drain and Noddle Hill Lake.
Broad-bodied Chaser. 5 records. Oviposition at Foredyke Green Pond, where the photo above was taken.
Four-spotted Chaser. 12 records from 5 sites, including individuals emerging in a private garden.
Black-tailed Skimmer. 8 records from 6 sites, the first of the year on the 2nd June. A female was seen ovipositing at Snuff Mill Lane.

2 comments:

Guillermo García-Saúco said...

So cool, Africa! I wish we could go out together and look for dragons. Arquillo and Ojos de Villaverde are waiting for you!!
Gui

Africa Gomez said...

Thank you Gui! That sounds awesome. It's sometimes frustrating not to be able to plan surveys as weather is so changeable, I bet in Spain there are dragonflies on the wing all the time. Those are great locations!