The Dragonflies and Damselflies of Rushcliffe

Recorder (Notts. & Derbys.) Chris Bradbury Send your odonata records to:

Chris Bradbury using iRecord

Or, if your are unsure of an id, send photos to Chris: BDS@chrisbradbury.com

Tel. 07544 141 317

Tel. 01623 391 297

Banded Demoiselle
Banded Demoiselle Calopteryx splendens
Chris says these are new species to look out for:
  • Willow Emerald has been recorded south of Gainsborough in 2019 within 5km of Notts at Sturton le Stow. It could easily be at Langford Lowfields or other sites south-east of the Trent.
  • Scarce Chaser has been recorded over multiple years on the River Soar at Kegworth on the Leicestershire side. These must cross the river to Notts and must surely be on the Trent now or very soon.
  • Southern Migrant Hawker has already been seen in South Yorkshire and up to the Humber in 2018.

Banded Demoiselle Calopteryx splendens Quite common and found along the Trent and the Grantham Canal. Favours slow-flowing watercourses like the R Soar and some stretches of the R Trent but not static lakes.

Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa Present at Holme Pierrepont and along the Grantham Canal

Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula Has visited my garden pond and recorded on the Grantham Canal near Kinoulton. It is the earliest species to fly each season.

Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans Along with the Common Blue and Azure Damselflies, this is one of the most abundant species found on static waterbodies throughout the borough.

Azure Damselfly
Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella

Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella Very common but needs careful observation to distinguish from the equally common, Common Blue.

Variable Damselfly Coenagrion pulchellum Scarce or very scarce. I've only found it on the Grantham Canal between Kinoulton and Hickling but ot was reported from Netherfield.

Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum Very common and widespread, but does not use rapidly-flowing streams.

Red-eyed Damselfly Erythromma najas Seemingly quite local, but recorded from Holme Pierrepont, on Wolds Lakes near Keyworth and on the Grantham Canal at Kinoulton.

Small Red-eyed Damselfly Erythromma viridulum This species is extending its range and the first Nottinghamshire record was in 2006 at Cotgrave CP. I'm not clear as to its current status but look for it on lakes with mats of weed at the surface.

Hairy Dragonfly Brachytron pratense This species has expanded its range into the East Midlands since 2000 and is now found along the Trent valley downstream of Long Eaton and was recorded at Holme Pierrepont in late May 2019.

Southern Hawker Aeshna cyanea A common species that is widespread and will use garden ponds for breeding. If you think you've seen a 'common' hawker in south Notts, it's almost certainly this species.

Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis Somewhat local but easily found along the Grantham Canal near Hickling where I've counted up to 50 in a few hundred metres stretch. Will wander considerable distances and turn up away from favoured breeding sites.

Common Hawker Aeshna juncea This species is associated with acid heathland and is known from parts of the dukeries including Budby. I has also been found on pit tips, notably Pleasley bu there are also accepted records from south Nottinghamshire; the DaNES report for 2010 (published late 2014) states 8 Nottinghamshire records for 2009-10 and says that all were from 'the southern part of the county'. Indeed, the BDF website shows records from Holme Pierrepont, Ruddington Moor, Rushcliffe CP, Sharphill Wood, Old Wood and Barnstone. I think these records are doubtful but if you have photographic evidence of the species from the Trent valley please forward images to the county recorder using iRecord.

Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta Common and widespread. Can be very numerous well away from water as in the rides of Cotgrave Forest in September.

Emperor Dragonfly Anax imperator This, the largest British dragonfly is found at Holme Pierrepont and Rushcliffe CP and at other large sheets of still water but also at much smaller still waters including Wilford Claypits. The species colonised Nottinghamshire in the 1980s.

Lesser Emperor Anax parthenope This is a vagrant species to Britain but one was seen at Holme Pierrepont in 1998.

Four-spotted Chaser
Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata

Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata Widespread and fairly common. Occurs along the Grantham Canal.

Broad-bodied Chaser Libellula depressa The more common of the two chasers occuring widely and often far from water. Prone to perch on hedges and lap up the autumn sunshine.

Black-tailed Skimmer Orthetrum cancellatum Occurs at Holme Pierrepont and Wilford Claypits but in low numbers and not common or not present elsewhere.

Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum Common throughout. Frequently seen sunbathing on towpaths and other stony tracks. Lays eggs in fast flowing streams as well as garden ponds.

Ruddy Darter
Ruddy DarterSympetrum sanguineum

Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum Far less frequent than the Common Darter but occurs at Holme Pierrepont and it is worth carefully checking all the darters for this one.