27 Jul 2014

27 July 14 - Variable Damselfly

I've been planning on getting up to the Somerset Levels for a few weeks now, but never quite made it until today. The plan was to look for Variable Damselfly which is a species that doesn't appear to occur in Dorset. There were old Dorset records, but all have now been rejected. Interestingly, there are still records shown on the NBN Gateway site, so perhaps some of these sites would be worth rechecking. Anyway, thanks to Julian Thomas, I was heading on from Alner's Gorse armed with a good site to try at Tealham Moor SSSI.
 Tealham Moor SSSI: One of the main drainage ditches
Glastonbury Tor: It seems expected that you have to put a picture of Glastonbury Tor when you visit the area (if you're not a local), so here goes
I did a quick count recently of the Bird species which have already been published on the blog & I've have already gone past 5% of the world list of Birds (based on the Clements checklist). But Mute Swan hasn't appeared before, so I had better rectify that now.
Mute Swan: That's one more species closer to completing the photo set of Birds of the World on this blog
The Variable Damselflies were in one of the small drainage ditches that fed into the main drainage ditch. It was actually the first Damselfly I saw, but was coming & going in the ditch & took me a while to get some good photos to confirm the id. In the end I saw at least 4 individuals, all of which were males. Just 3 regular English Dragonflies still to see: White-faced Darter, Club-tailed Dragonfly & Southern Emerald. I also need to get up to Scotland for all the Scottish specialities.
Variable Damselfly: Male. Note, the broken antehumeral stripes on the thorax, the wine glass marking on segment 2 & the crown marking on segment 9
Variable Damselfly: Closeup of the broken antehumeral stripes on the thorax & the wine glass marking on segment 2
Variable Damselfly: Closeup of the crown marking on segment 9
Variable Damselfly: Male. Note, the broken antehumeral stripes on the thorax, the wine glass marking on segment 2 & the crown marking on segment 9
Variable Damselfly: Male
Variable Damselfly: Male. A different individual with a more elaborate crown pattern on segment 9
Variable Damselfly: Closeup of the broken antehumeral stripes on the thorax & the wine glass marking on segment 2
Variable Damselfly: Closeup of the crown marking on segment 9
Variable Damselfly: Male
The main confusion species in the South will be Azure Damselfly as that has a simlar wine glass shaped segment 2 marking, but without the stem. Note, the Brooks & Lewington guide illustrates an example of a Variable Damselfly with virtually no stem. So here are some photos of Azure Damselfly taken in June in Dorset.
Azure Damselfly: Male. East Holme Water Meadows, Dorset (6 June 14). Note the unbroken antehumeral stripes, similar wine glass marking without the stem & segment 9 markings
Azure Damselfly: Male. East Holme Water Meadows, Dorset (6 June 14). Close up of the unbroken antehumeral stripes & similar wine glass marking without the stem
Azure Damselfly: Male. East Holme Water Meadows, Dorset (6 June 14). Close up of the segment 9 markings
Azure Damselfly: Male. Arne, Dorset (8 June 14). Note the unbroken antehumeral stripes, similar wine glass marking without the stem & segment 9 markings
Azure Damselfly: Male. Arne, Dorset (8 June 14). Close up of the unbroken antehumeral stripes & similar wine glass marking without the stem
Azure Damselfly: Male. Arne, Dorset (8 June 14). Close up of the segment 9 markings which looks more similar to the second Variable Damselfly individual
The Variable Damselfly ditch: They like slow moving water in ponds or ditches with fringing vegetation
Blue-tailed Damselfly: Mating pair

No comments :

Post a Comment