9 Jul 2017

9 July 17 - A Recent Dorset Immigrant

In 1999, the first Small Red-eyed Damselfly appeared in Essex from Europe. As with the Estuary accent, it has continued to spread out from there. Unlike the unpleasant accent, Small Red-eyed Damselflies are a welcome addition to Dorset's still water lakes & ponds. They have become established at a few locations in the county, as they continue to spread West into Devon & South Wales and as far North as Yorkshire. I've seen them at Longham Lakes & Weymouth. I've looked for them in Poole Harbour in the recent years, but I haven't managed to find them so far. But given how far they have spread out across the country, then surely they will appear at some point within the harbour boundaries. The obvious places are Swineham (but there is no access to the water's edge unless you enjoy flushing the resident Birds in your canoes), Creekmoor Ponds (not tried) & Hatch Pond (which I've looked at in the past).

They tend to stayed well out on weed & lily leaves in the lakes at Longham, making it tricky to photograph them. But finally while unsuccessfully waiting for the Scarlet Darter to reappear at the large pool at Longham Lake, I spotted this one perching up right at the water's edge.
Small Red-eyed Damselfly: They are smaller & daintier than the commoner Red-eyed Damselflies. Males are another of the blue & black variation of Damselflies & can be separated from male Red-eyed Damselflies by their less deep red eyes, brighter red shoulder stripes & broken blue on the final two segments of the abdomen