All photography and the narrative are by Chris Brooks

More Dragonfly and Damselfly Habitats

By Chris Brooks

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Pine and Forestry Plantations

Provided there are some bodies of water within the plantation, these sites can be very prolific, supporting many varied species of dragonflies and damselflies, often in quite large numbers.

Many of these sites are now actively managed to support the dragonfly and damselfly populations, with open areas being created and more importantly maintained. Over afforestation is a major problem.

Open rides and clearer glades are required for the best foraging. If these vital areas become clogged with trees then certain species may disappear from the site over a number of years.

In the forest rides Common, Southern and Brown Hawkers can be seen swooping over the tracks, often coming to rest on the adjacent gorse, bracken or pine trees. If there are ponds, which are partially wooded, then the Downy and Brilliant Emerald Dragonflies may be present. These can be seen mainly on the wing, occasionally perching on adjacent vegetation.

They can share the pools with the Hawkers, Emperors, Broad Bodied and Four Spotted Chasers, Common and Ruddy Darters. Damselflies can also be present in large numbers including Blue Tailed, Common and Azure Blues, Red Eyed and Large Red. If there are streams then the Golden Ringed Dragonfly and the Banded and Beautiful Demoiselles may also be present.

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Rivers and Streams

Any body of flowing water can support species of dragonflies and damselflies. These can be as varied from highland streams to slow flowing rivers and certain canals. The pace of the flow will generally dictate what species can be found there.

Slow flowing rivers can support the Club Tailed Dragonfly and the Scarce Chaser, both of which can be very localised. The White Legged Damselfly and the Banded and Beautiful Demoiselles are likely to be present in quite large numbers if a suitable breeding site can be located. The slacker areas can attract stillwater species like the Black Tailed Skimmer and Common Blue Damselflies.

In smaller and faster flowing streams you are likely to encounter the Golden Ringed Dragonfly, particularly on heaths and moors. In lower lying areas these streams can support both Demoiselles, and Keeled Skimmers.

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