29th October 2001
There are still a few reports coming in. Thanks to Peter Doyle and Ian Rippey for these. Since the last update only four species have been reported. These are (with date of latest report and counties)
Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum 28th Antrim, Armagh and Wicklow
Black Darter Sympetrum danae 28th Antrim, Armagh and Tyrone
Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta 21st Wexford
Common Hawker Aeshna juncea 21st Antrim and Wicklow.
Michael O'Meara has produced a booklet on the Dragonflies of Waterford. For details of this and other volumes in the series and how to obtain them visit Michael's excellent site at www.waterfordwildlife.com
The News page will probably now go into hibernation, so thanks very much for all correspondents who have sent in news over the season. As last year we want your records as soon as possible so that they can be entered into the database and the maps updated (some 2001 records have already been put on the maps). Hopefully early next year we will be able to provide a summary of the most interesting records from this year. Some improvements and additions to the site are planned so please revisit occasionally to see these.
10th October 2001
There are a few reports still trickling in from recorders. It is very much the tail end of the season and the only species you are likely to see are darters and hawkers. Peter Doyle saw 1 Common Hawker Aeshna juncea at Cruagh Wood, County Dublin on 6th October. At Ashford, Co. Wicklow, Angus Tyner reports about 20 Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum and a female Black Darter Sympetrum danae around his lake and bog. The female Black Darter was in tandem with a Common Darter. Mismatches such as this are occasionally reported. In north Donegal on the 6th October Graham McElwaine saw a number of Common Darters at Blanket Nook. Ian Rippey caught a brief though definite glimpse of a Black Darter at a bog at Ross, Co. Meath just south of Lough Sheelin on 29th September. On the 30th September I saw a Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis at Derryadd Lough Co. Armagh.
In early autumn the weather in Ireland is often characterised by fast-moving depressions some of which are the tail end of hurricane systems from the western Atlantic. American birds often arrive in these systems so they are eagerly awaited by birdwatchers. This year Ireland's first Baltimore Oriole was seen in Baltimore (the one in Cork!) over the weekend. Undoubtedly insects also get carried across the Atlantic in these same depressions, as seen in 1998 when a number of Green Darners Anax junius were seen in SW England, but are less often reported. This year however a number of Monarch butterflies have been seen in southern England and one was reported from Cape Clear. So anyone in the SW in particular should pay particular attention to any large dragonflies - they may be something special!
24th September 2001
Ian Rippey has sent in many reports of Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta from the SE which indicate that the species is becoming well-established here. Ian saw Migrant Hawkers at the following sites:
Co. Kilkenny: [first county record] Lough Cullin, SW of New Ross (S3742): 4-5 males and a female on 16th September.
Co. Waterford: [first county records] Belle Lake between Waterford and Dunmore East (S6605): At least 6 males on 11th September. 6-10 males somewhat further north there on 13th September, so there could have been as many as 12 or more though strong winds may have driven some into a more sheltered area at the NE end of the lake.
Ballinlough near Kill (S4504): 1 live male and 1 dead female on 11th September.
Red Head near Dunmore East (X6999): 1 male on 13th September. There was no freshwater nearby at this coastal site so it may have been a migrant (4 Red Admiral and 2 Painted Lady butterflies and 2 Silver Y moths were seen not far away, indicating a degree of migration).
Co. Wexford: Raven Dunes, Curracloe (T1123): 1 mating pair seen in hollow near trees on 14th September.
Small unnamed lake at Ballina near Screen north of Curracloe (T1032): At least 1 male on 14th September. A brief glimpse was made of what may even have been a mating pair briefly investigating a small shallower inlet of the lake, though this may have merely been a male flying fast.
Small unnamed lake at Ballinroe near Screen north of Curracloe (T0932): 2 males seen during brief visit on 14th September.
Wexford Wildfowl Reserve (T076238): 4 on 14th September. One of these, a male, was seen closely for a short time before being frightened off by a vehicle, and appeared to have somewhat dull coloured spots, perhaps indicating a teneral individual. Another was filmed resting in a tree. 2 males were also seen there on 15th September when in the company of Warden Tim Collins.
Lady Island Lake (NE side at T109075): 1 male on 15th September.
Roadside at Castletown near Lady Island Lake (T117053): At least 1 on 15th September.
South side of Ferrycarrig Bridge west of Wexford (T0123) A probable specimen seen flying high up around trees
Co. Wicklow: Small lake in forest near Nun's Cross, Ashford (T2597): At least 1 on 17th September [most northerly record to date]
12th September 2001
The following news from Cork of Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta came from Paul Moore.
"At Lough Aderra in East Cork I was able to confirm the presence of at least 4 males in one corner of the lake last week. Just as I was leaving the lake something bumped against me, I looked down to see a copulating pair of Migrants narrowly avoid falling in to the top of my wellington and instead fall in the water. Before I could bend down they took off again and disappeared. Given that this was only in the north west corner of the lake there may well be more present. I then found two more males at nearby Ballyhonock Lake."
The only other news is from Inishmaan, one of the Aran Islands, where Bernard Picton and Christine Morrow found a drowned Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum. There was an exuvia also on the pond indicating this individual probably died during emergence. This is first record of Common Darter from Inishmaan; the only other dragonfly recorded from the island is the Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata. Only three dragonfly species have been recorded on any of the Aran Islands - Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans, Four-spotted Chaser and Common Darter. All three occur on Inishmore but we have no dragonfly records from Inisheer.
5th September 2001
There is a definite autumnal, end of season feeling to the weather but dragonflies can still be seen in good numbers if you are fortunate to be out on a good day. Two sites I visited recently are the Montiaghs Moss, Co. Antrim and Belfast Harbour Estate, Co. Down.
At the Montiaghs on a blustery, overcast but warm day I saw large numbers of Black Darter Sympetrum danae with smaller numbers of Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum and Emerald Damselflies Lestes sponsa and a single Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis. The end of August and beginning of September is the best time to see Black Darter and it can be surprising just many can be present even on a small area of bog. All the males were completely black but a number of the females still looked freshly emerged. The Ruddy Darters, which are nearing the end of their flight season, were all very strongly coloured especially around the face. Some of the females were also turning red along the centre of the abdomen.
In Belfast Harbour Estate about 20 small pools were created on reclaimed ground a few years ago - probably for birds but which are perfect for dragonflies. This time last year large numbers of Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum could be seen around the pools but this year numbers appear much reduced. Tom Gittings has also commented on the low numbers of Common Darters in Cork. This I think is probably related to reduced immigration by this species over the summer. Last year Ruddy Darter was also seen at Belfast Harbour Estate but none have been seen there this year, suggesting these too were immigrants.
In contrast, in Donegal, Common Darters appear as common as ever. It does seem that there are two components to the Common Darter population - a resident and migrant component. In the west the resident component is the larger part varying little in numbers from year to year, but in the south and east populations vary in strength much more, depending on the numbers of migrants. The extent of immigration is clearly dependant on weather patterns each summer and this year, unlike last, these have not been favourable. The extent of immigration can be dramatic. In 1947 during August and September there was a immigration of Common Darter along the south coast. This was witnessed by many people, including Cynthia Longfield, who described the event in the Irish Naturalists' Journal (volume 9: 133-141). She estimated that millions of Common Darters arrived. Some huge swarms were seen likened by one observer to a 'swarm of locusts' and by another 'like drifting snow'.
I have mentioned before the issue of the Highland Darter Sympetrum nigrescens which is a name given to dark darters from the west of Ireland, Scotland and Norway. It may be this name applies to the resident form present in Donegal. However having compared specimens from Donegal and Belfast I can see little difference between them based on the critical characters. Others have had similar difficulty in deciding whether individuals are nigrescens or striolatum. This is an interesting problem which may be resolved by DNA analysis of Irish and other populations.
The following is a summary of observations from elsewhere dominated by records from the south and east. Records from elsewhere would be very welcome!
Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta
The first reports from Co. Cork! Two or possibly three male Migrant Hawkers were seen at Lough Aderra, near Carrigtwohill, Co. Cork on the 28th August by John Diggin. Migrant Hawkers continue to be seen in a number of Wexford localities including Johnstown Castle, Lady's Island Lake, Tacumshin, near Tagoat and at the Raven (Killian Mullarney, Tom Shevlin).
Emperor Anax imperator
A female was seen at Ballyhonock Lake, nr Castlemartryr in Co. Cork on 26th. It was ovipositing in shallow water adjoining marginal bogbean. (Tom Gittings). Also in Cork two males were seen patrolling a pool at Ballyvergan, Youghal, Co. Cork on the 16th and a male was at Kilkerran Lake, Clonakilty on the 26th (John Diggin). In Wexford at least 3 males were seen at Lady's Island Lake on the 27th (Killian Mullarney). The Clonakilty record is the most westerly record received to date.
Lesser Emperor Anax parthenope
No further reports.
Scarce Blue-Tailed Damselfly Ischnura pumilio
Six sites have been discovered in north Kerry and Limerick over the summer by Geoff Hunt. All locations were sandstone quarries, only one of these was a working site. For those of you who haven't seen this tiny, attractive species it is worth looking at any quarry in your area. An ideal location is where there is an exposed spring and shallow pools. Adults like sitting on plant stems over the open water. Even tiny areas of habitat are worth looking at. Blue-tailed Damselfly can also occur in these sites allowing for direct comparison.
Finally the mention of Scarce Blue-tailed being seen in east Clare in the news of 29th May was incorrect - apologies to Ken for not correcting this earlier.
20th August 2001
The dismal weather seems to be keeping most people in judging by the lack of news since the beginning of August.
Angus Tyner saw 11 species around his lake and bog on the 19th. This included a female Common Hawker Aeshna juncea - a 'new' species for this site. A Lesser Emperor Anax parthenope was also seen which perched allowing Angus to take some video of it and examine it closely. This individual was a female - the first record of one in Ireland.
Last week myself Robert Thompson and Colm Ronayne travelled to south Wexford in the hope of seeing one of the Lesser Emperors. According to the weather forecasts, Wednesday and Thursday 15th and 16th seemed to offer the only good weather of last week, but when we arrived at Lady's Island Lake in the early afternoon it was cloudy and grey. A brief, almost sunny, five minutes did encourage some things to fly. We saw two Emperor Anax imperator and I had a brief glimpse of what was probably a Lesser Emperor. However the cloud quickly thickened again and by 3pm even the darters (Ruddy Sympetrum sanguineum and Common S. striolatum) had stopped flying. Feeling frustrated we left for the Raven Nature Reserve near Curracloe. Here some evening sunshine lifted temperatures sufficiently for Ruddy Darter and Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis to fly. Our luck turned when at least one Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta was seen flying rapidly along the edge of the woodland.
Thursday dawned sunny though with some mist around Wexford. We left for Lady's Island again, arriving just at the same time as some menacing cloud covered the sun. This hung around for another hour keeping all the dragonflies grounded. After the sunshine returned, 2 male Emperor were soon seen, but unfortunately no Lesser Emperor made an appearance. Again frustrated and running out of time we left for the Raven where the weather was warm and sunny and amongst the trees it was sheltered. A Migrant Hawker was seen immediately by Robert - but as he watched it a hunting Brown Hawker snatched it in mid air, and proceeded to eat it in flight. In the areas around the pond at the reserve entrance we saw another 6 Migrant Hawker mostly flying high at tree-top height. A search of the pond edge by Colm produced a very recently emerged Common Hawker so fresh that no colours were visible plus three hawker exuviae. One was confirmed as a Migrant Hawker, proving that the species is breeding successfully in Ireland. In total we recorded eight species (Common and Ruddy Darter; Brown, Common and Migrant Hawker; and Azure Coenagrion puella, Blue-tailed Ischnura elegans, Emerald Lestes sponsa, and Variable C. pulchellum Damselfly) - an amazing total for such an unpromising looking site.
On the way north we stopped briefly at Arklow to check the ponds on the north side of the town and saw two more Migrant Hawkers.
10th August 2001
The first Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta of the year was seen by Killian Mullarney near Murrintown Co. Wexford.
8th August 2001
No further reports on the Lesser Emperor Anax parthenope in the South east. There have in fact been some sightings of Lesser Emperor in Cornwall since late July. This would suggest that the records are of migrants.
On Monday in County Clare large numbers of Scarce Emerald Lestes dryas were seen at Ballyvelaghan Lough, a regular site. Two were also seen in Dromore Forest Nature Reserve, the first record from here since 1983.
3rd August 2001
As promised a summary of the news over the latter part of July and the beginning of August. Most reports I have received have been from south east where the remarkable series of records continues. The main headline news concerns Lesser Emperor Anax parthenope which has been seen at four localities in Waterford, Wexford and Wicklow.
Emperor Anax imperator
Angus Tyner has regularly had two males on his site near Ashford, Co. Wicklow, and suspects a third has also been present. A female has been seen apparently egglaying on patches of pondweed (Potamogeton). Also in Wicklow a male was seen at Arklow by Michael O'Donnell on the 21st July. Up to 6 male Emperors were seen at Lady's Island Lake, Co. Wexford on 28th July by Killian Mullarney. In Waterford, Dominic Berridge saw a female Emperor at Ballin Lough (this is just west of the village of Kill which is, in turn, a few miles north of the coastal village of Knockmahon) on the 31st July. He and Killian Mullarney returned to site on 1st and saw a single male. This is the first record from Waterford.
Lesser Emperor Anax parthenope
A single Lesser Emperor was found by Angus Tyner on his lake at Ashford on the 30th July. It has been seen subsequently and as his description states it is a male.
Wed Aug 1st. Midday. After a dull Tuesday weather again was sunny 20°C. Spotted Lesser Emperor again over the bog. Similar jizz as before but this time was regularly perching on dead stems coming out of the water. This afforded me excellent views and to see more of the features. The skyblue waist, with a yellow band above. Eyes green. Abdomen was an off brown with a hint of dark purple. Its hard to name it as a colour. Thorax was brown with a hint of a couple patches of brightness down the side. the wings were not crystal clear but neither could I say that they were coloured, kind of slightly dirty. I watched it for ten minutes or so and then it disappeared.
Further south on the 1st another Lesser Emperor was found at Ballin Lough, Co. Waterford by Killian and Dominic Berridge, who later saw yet another briefly at Belle Lake (adjacent to the Waterford/Dunmore road).
On the 2nd at Lady's Island, Co. Wexford Killian Mullarney saw at least at least two, possibly even three Lesser Emperor. He sent the following description and comparison between the two Anax species.
The unexpected sunshine this afternoon prompted me to drive down to Lady's Island and look at Ring Marsh. In exactly the same area where I had Lesser Emperors last year I was pleased to find them again. I had two Lessers together on several occasions and there were several "clashes" between the two species. It was interesting to compare the impressions of the two species on the wing at various ranges; while occasionally the male Emperors could, momentarily, appear to have just a blue patch at the base of the abdomen and could suggest Lesser, the impression was never sustained. Compared to Emperors, the Lessers looked distinctly darker, duller, more brownish or even blackish, depending on the light and range. The pale blue patch at the base of the abdomen is really conspicuous, and with binoculars is visible at up to 80-100m range. Another useful feature is that because of the comparative darkness of the thorax, which is so obviously bright apple-green in the Emperors, the light-coloured (greenish-buff?) rear edge of the eyes often stood out as a narrow vertical "slash" just in front of the thorax (in profile) and head on it was often possible to detect a hint of the greenish eye-colour. They certainly appear, most of the time, to have a distinctly straighter abdomen (and at close range more prominent anal appendages) than Emperor. Now and then, however, there is a perceptible bend or curve in the abdomen shape. They seem to me to move slightly faster and more erratically than Emperor, though to some extent this may be a function of their less bright appearance making them more difficult to follow. At this site the Lessers were inclined to spend more time well away from the water's edge, out in the middle so to speak, than the Emperors. At longer range they are much more difficult to keep track of against the vegetation on the far shore than are Emperors.
So a remarkable series of records. Of all the species seen last year the Lesser Emperor was the most unexpected. The timing of last year's records suggested that the individuals were migrants as coincident arrivals were seen in Britain. Whilst those seen this year may also be migrants I have as yet not heard of any records from Britain and there has not been pronounced insect migrant activity this year. Also the numbers and widespread occurrence would suggest these may be locally bred adults. Lesser Emperor has been considered a very southern species in Europe but breeding has been proved once in Britain and in Belgium, the Netherlands and north Germany there are a number of well-established breeding sites. So breeding populations in Ireland are not impossible. However no breeding activity has been noted, nor has anyone seen a female. Unlike other large hawkers Lesser Emperor egg-lays in tandem so if you see large dragonflies coupled together take a good look at them.
Northern Emerald Somatochlora arctica
Good numbers of Northern Emerald were seen in Killarney National Park by participants on the DragonflyIreland course run by Robert Thompson in early July.
Black Darter Sympetrum danae
Ian Rippey reported the first Black Darter of the year - 2 or 3 (still yellow) were flying at Drumanacabranagher bog east of Florencecourt, Co. Fermanagh on the 22nd July. On the 2nd there were very large numbers of Black Darter (again most still yellow) at the Montiaghs Moss, Co. Antrim.
25th July 2001
DragonflyIreland Identification Guide now available from Ulster Museum shop. If you have already sent records in to the project you should have received your copy - if not contact Damian McFerran ().
18th July 2001
Very little news to report no doubt a reflection of the generally changeable cool weather. I will not be updating news until beginning of August as I shall be in northern Sweden attending the Symposium of the World Dragonfly Association, but please do keep sending in your news and I will summarise it when I return.
On the 14th I found good numbers of Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura pumilio at Sheskinmore Lough Co. Donegal despite the windy conditions. Single males and mating pairs were seen. Also at this site were many newly emerged Emerald Damselfy Lestes sponsa and Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum. No Black-tailed Skimmers Orthetrum cancellatum were seen but water levels in the main lake were very high covering all the bare sandy shores this species favours.
Some late news from Mark Litjens who holidayed in Ireland at the end of June visiting Clare and Kerry. He said numbers of dragonflies were low but he did see both Scarce Emerald Damselfly Lestes dryas and Downy Emerald Cordulia aenea.
10th July 2001
The unstable weather currently over Ireland is not best for dragonflies and the changeover from Spring to Summer species has not been very apparent. Angus Tyner saw a female Hairy Dragonfly Brachytron pratense on his lake at Ashford, being harrassed by the resident male Emperor Anax imperator on the 8th July. On the 9th Angus saw a female Emperor ovipositing in plant stems on his lake. He watched her for over an hour up to 14:30. The Emperor at the site near Blarney Co. Cork was seen on the 5th by Harry Hussey - this time being regularly chased off by a 4-spot Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata. There have been a few more reports of Common Hawker Aeshna juncea, though I have yet to see one this year. Dan Kissane who lives at the foot of the MacGillycuddy Reeks in Co.Kerry was lucky to witness the complete emergence of a hawker (probably Common Hawker). Over the last few days at least seven adults have emerged from the little pond (it measures roughly eight feet by five) near his house.
Ian Rippey has sent in only the second report this year of Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa. These were at Cloghcor Lough near Clogher, Co. Tyrone on the 8th. Irish Damselfly also seen here confirming an earlier larval record. Other news from Ian is of Keeled Skimmer Orthetrum coerulescens seen at its only site in Co. Armagh on 4th July. For the first time since it was discovered here in 1998 females were seen.
I have not heard of any Red-veined Darters Sympetrum fonscolombii yet but they have been seen this year in England, so emerged adults may be present on south coast sites.
3rd July 2001
The following account of dragonfly activity on his lake and bog comes from Angus Tyner
"Yesterday (Monday 2nd July) I went down to my "bog" at about midday. Blazing sun, temperature 21ºC and the wind was blowing a bit. The water surface though was sheltered quite well by the clumps of rushes. There were 4 Spot Chasers Libellula quadrimaculata everywhere, many more than I seen before. I estimate between 20 and 30. Then I noticed this "jumbo" flying high above the "737s". I got the binoculars on it but with the bright light, it was little more than a silhouette. It was flying in a broad circle approximately 5m high over the bog. After some minutes it flew off.
I went in for lunch and came back out in my waders so I could get to heart of action. A darter caught my attention as it seemed to have a red shading in its wings. It could have been the sun playing tricks, but none of the other darters seemed to have it. The wind had picked up a bit since earlier and it was now quite gusty, but the temperature was still 21ºC. I spotted the hawker again, this time much lower, about 2 m above water. Green thorax and blue abdomen. It alighted briefly on a willow, long enough to confirm it to be an Emperor Anax imperator. (I was consulting the guide book during lunch to see what hawker would have a habit of flying so high, there wasn't much choice.) He flew over a few times but my luck was out as regards capturing it. After he left I went back to work. That evening I went back to bog at about 7pm. It was still 21ºC but the wind had dropped. I spotted a hawker. Flying low, about 1m and faster than the Emperor earlier. Its wings were dark. Could only be a Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis. Another new species for this site and for me considering that 6 months ago as far as I was concerned, all blue damselflies were the one type, as were red darters, and the Emperor here last year was merely a huge dragonfly with a green body and a blue tail! Back to the Brown Hawker, I followed it around until the Emperor was in view again. This time much lower. Only 1m or so. I rang my wife to let her know. Once the paths of the 2 hawkers crossed the Emperor dispatched the Brown. I was by this stage in the middle in my waders. He was passing quite close. I missed him with the net but he gave me another opportunity and I got him. Took him out and had a look at those eyes. I let him go but he stayed on my finger for a couple minutes before flying back to where I had seen him perched before, hopefully none the worse for the ordeal I had just inflicted upon him. The question of that darter still remains. I don't know how obvious the colour is in the red-veined, but maybe I will catch sight of it again."
Angus's bog was was essentially dry 15 months ago. So far this year at least 10 species of dragonfly and damselfly have emerged and another 3 have been sighted, one of them being the 4 Spot Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata which has been ovipositing heavily. The size of the bog is only about 30x45m. Considering that very few sites in Ireland can boast more than 12 breeding species, this is a remarkable demonstration of how relatively simple habitat creation can benefit dragonflies and other species (as well as giving a lot of enjoyment).
Angus also reports Beautiful Damselfly Calopteryx virgo together with numerous Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula along the Vartry River in Mount Usher Gardens.
Emperor Anax imperator has now been confirmed from counties Cork, Wexford and Wicklow. It could be present at other sites in south-eastern counties (Waterford, Kilkenny and Carlow) and maybe even in the Midlands.
2nd July 2001
Interesting news comes from Harry Hussey in Co. Cork of a male Emperor Anax imperator at Clogheenmilcon near Blarney. It was first seen on the 30th and again on the 1st. On the 30th it was seen for 3-4 hours mostly on a steady patrol, but also feeding on mayflies and interacting with Four spotted Chasers Libellula quadrimaculata. Up to 6 of the latter were seen and a single Banded Demoiselle Calopteryx splendens.
Harry also reports 3 Four-spot Chasers and a Hairy Dragonfly Brachytron pratense at Ballyvergan and 2 teneral Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum, a single Four spotted Chaser, a few of both Variable Coenagrion pulchellum and Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans at Lough Aderry.
29th June 2001
The main headline news is of Downy Emerald Cordulia aenea. This was recorded by Tom Shevlin in Co. Kerry. This the first record of the species since the launch of DragonflyIreland. Tom sent me the following vivid account with some photographs which confirmed the identity so I will let him describe the record unedited.
Just back today from an interesting 2 days in Killarney.
The morning of Monday 25th June was fairly warm - around 17 degrees and cloudy. I arrived in Killarney around 10 am and quickly proceeded to the Galway's Bridge area. I checked around the bridge and walked the small road that swings to the left past the church. There was very little activity here, just the odd Common Blue and Four-spotted Chaser. I was wondering where exactly the old reports of the Emeralds were, as it didn't look particularly good. I was pressed for time so decided to proceed to Lady's View and the lake close by. Nothing much here either, although it looked pretty good. At this stage the weather was improving greatly and becoming warm and sunny. So onwards down into the valley. Just off the road in the valley, I noticed a butterfly flying around a bog so I stopped to have a look and noticed some dragonflies flying around bog pools. I walked around and there were at least 20 or 30 Four-spotted Chasers around these tiny pools - thought I might see a Northern Emerald here as it looked ideal. No joy however. Went on down to find the track around the southern shore of the Upper Lake leading to the Derrycunnihy and Queens' Cottage areas. First target was Lough Beg, however. Walked about a kilometre and saw some Beautiful Demoiselles and a scattering of other damselflies on the way. After an hour of searching I eventually found Lough Beg. It was early afternoon. Some Keeled Skimmers were sunning themselves at the edge and some Four-spotted Chasers were making forays around the lake. My attention was then drawn to another dragonfly. This was different, a shape that was not familiar to me and obviously different to the Chasers. Next thing I noticed a sheen off the body and big green eyes - this must be an Emerald. Another dragonfly of the same shape quickly followed the first one. They were flying low and fast around the edge of the lake, one following the other and occasionally scrapping with each other. They were difficult to follow even with binoculars. After a few circuits I saw one fly high up towards the nearby oaks. It seemed that both had now left the lake. I obviously decided to stay here for a while and after half an hour they appeared again, together. It was difficult to get much detail on them. In the sunshine there was an obvious glint from the body. The green eyes were the only feature that stood out. The shape and "jizz" was striking. The abdomen was tilted upwards slightly at the back. Once I saw what appeared to be a bronze colouring towards the rear of the abdomen. It was easy to pick them out from the other dragonflies. At some angles the abdomen looked decidedly narrower at the base giving it a club-shaped appearance. They did a few more circuits, flying low and fast and nearly always in an anti-clockwise circuit. They disappeared again. I stayed for another hour and didn't see any sign. I decided to check a few more areas.
On the way back to the main track I saw a small pond very close to the track itself. It was late afternoon. There was lots of dragonfly activity on this one. Soon I saw another Emerald species - only one this time - continuously flying low and fast around this pond, in the same manner as the previous two. It did this for about 5 minutes, continuously harassing the 4-spots in one particular area before it disappeared. It was difficult to follow it when it was against the vegetation and hence very hard to know where it would disappear to. Again I stayed for a while and over the next hour this dragonfly would appear on and off. It was obviously the same species as the previous two I'd seen.
I really had not much time left and I wanted to check the other areas. This was a mistake as the areas into and around the woods were quite disappointing. At this stage I had to get back to Killarney. Next day was cloudy with spots of rain but very humid. I was determined to try to get to grips with the Emeralds today. I decided to check the Lough Beg area later in the morning so I gave a few hours to Galway's Bridge and Lady's View again (just in case) but still nothing of note here. It was very humid and cloudy when I arrived at the small pond around midday. The patchy rain had stopped. I quickly noticed that there was no dragonfly activity except for one dragonfly which was flying low and fast around the lake. I knew immediately from the jizz that this was an Emerald. I decided to try to get some photos. I had noticed the previous day that occasionally this dragonfly would patrol and hover (very quickly) in a particular area. On a few occasions it hovered about 5 feet away from me so I took some photos hoping for the best.
Over the next three hours I stayed at this pool hoping for photos but the dragonfly would sometimes disappear for an hour, so it was quite frustrating. On a few occasions especially when it would get brighter, the pool would come alive and 4-spots, one hawker (probably Common?) and the Emerald would start patrolling and scrapping. At this stage I was short on time but I did check the Lake itself and saw the other two Emeralds after about 15 minutes waiting - obviously they patrol this lake regularly. As I have no experience of either Downy or Northern Emerald (or Brilliant for that matter) I cannot be 100% sure of identity but I'm fairly certain they are Downy Emeralds. I only wish I had more time. Anyone around the Killarney area over the next few weeks should give a lot of time to the lake and this pool.
Other news briefly concerns some first adult records of the year for Common Hawker Aeshna juncea which was seen by Ian Rippey at Lough Alaban, Co. Fermanagh on 23rd June. Angus Tyner saw a teneral Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa near Ashford, Co. Wicklow on the 28th June.
Killian Mullarney counted 18 Emperors in the Screen Hills area of Wexford at the weekend. A large green and blue hawker seen by Angus Tyner regularly patrolling his pond last summer was almost certainly an Emperor.
On Wednesday and Thursday I was looking at sites in a broad swathe of Monaghan and Cavan plugging a gap from which no dragonfly records exist. Amongst the areas visited was Lough Sheelin and Lough Kinale. Few species were seen at Lough Sheelin though this included Ruddy Darter which was abundant in a marsh at Kilnahard. Lough Kinale was an unexpectedly good site. There are large areas of fen on the eastern edge and peaty drains with Frogbit Hydrocharis morsus-ranae. In somewhat indifferent weather six species were seen including Black-tailed Skimmer Orthetrum cancellatum. Along the Inny River which flows from L. Sheelin into L. Kinale through the village of Finnea I counted about a hundred male Banded Demoiselle Calopteryx splendens. There was Kingfisher nesting here and Redshank on the lake shore. During these two days here I also confirmed that Irish damselfly still occurs at several of the recorded localities in both Monaghan and Cavan. A new site for the species was found at a small lake near Shercock. A surprising find at one site (Greagh Lough, Co. Monaghan) was an adult and first summer Whooper Swan.
26th June 2001
News has filtered through of many more Emperor Anax imperator adults being seen at a number of sites in the Screen Hills area of Wexford by Killian Mullarney. This would seem to confirm that this magnificent species has established populations in the SE. It will be interesting to see how far and fast the Emperor will spread.
The first Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum has been reported a male was seen by Angus Tyner at Ashford, Co. Wicklow.
25th June 2001
Robert Thompson and myself have been running DragonflyIreland courses in Banagher, Co. Offaly and Oxford Island, Co. Armagh respectively. Robert's experience in the Midlands was mixed with often dull weather and lower than expected numbers of damselflies. Most species were eventually seen, but emergence of late summer species seems delayed. No darter Sympetrum species were seen and only one Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis was found. Participants on this course did get to see Irish Damselfly Coenagrion lunulatum, but none could be found at the Montiaghs Moss, Co. Antrim which was visited by my course.
The low numbers of damselflies seems to be widespread. Harry Hussey reports low numbers at Ballyvergan Co. Cork on 24th, but still good numbers of both Hairy Dragonfly Brachytron pratense and Four-spot Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata. In south Donegal on Friday 22nd, I found very few damselflies despite hot conditions and suitable habitat. Large Red Pyrrhosoma nymphula was still present but as typical with this species they were only found by searching for small pools. The highlight of my trip to south Donegal was seeing Black-tailed Skimmer in good numbers at Lough Gorman, which is a beautiful marl lake set in a Burren-like landscape.
21st June 2001
The main headline news is the first definite sighting of an Emperor Anax imperator in Wexford by Killian Mullarney on the 20th. There was an earlier tantalising sighting in Co. Cork of 'a massive blue dragonfly' which may have been an Emperor. Killian saw the Emperor in the same area that adults were seen in last year. Whilst it is possible this also was a migrant, it is more likely that given the general weather that this was a locally bred individual. If definite breeding can be proved by the finding of an exuvia it would mean that the species must have been in Ireland in 1999, as larvae take two years to develop. Hopefully we will get news of this soon. South coast observers should also keep an eye out for Red-veined Darter Sympetrum fonscolombii as they may also have bred successfully last year.
The cool June weather continues to keep dragonfly activity at a low level. In the last few days there have been some indications of the change in the season which happens around the mid and end of June. This is when species such as Brown and Common Hawker and the darters start to emerge and the early species such as Large Red Pyrrhosoma nymphula and Hairy Dragonfly Brachytron pratense become harder to find. At least three Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis were seen at Crom, Co. Fermanagh on the 20th June by participants in the DragonflyIreland Identification course. Hairy Dragonflies were also seen in good numbers including two ovipositing females. A total of eight species were seen on the day.
News from other observers includes the following from Ian Rippey
"Much to my surprise on 17th June, I found the Irish Damselfly Coenagrion lunulatum at a new site in Co. Tyrone, Wood Lough near Dungannon (H762604). It was plentiful both on a grassy overgrown south facing bank near the Dungannon to Ballyygawley Road and also on vegetation near the lake and in an adjacent field; 5 mating pairs and about 20 males were seen, though there were probably more. Some video footage was taken of a mating pair in the "wheel" position. I nearly always look at this area in May and June (eg for Wood Whites) and though I have often seen Common Blue Enallagma cyathigerum, Blue-tailed Ischnura elegans, Large Red Pyrrhosoma nymphula and 1 or both of the commoner Coenagrions there, this is the first time I have seen C. lunulatum; it must presumably have colonised in the last few years. The lake itself is a typical interdrumlin lake with sparse emergent vegetation, eg water lilies or pondweeds, surrounded by rushy fields, marginal trees and some woodland on the eastern side."
In the north then we are still finding new sites for Irish Damselfly. Since the launch of DragonflyIreland Ian has discovered two colonies in Tyrone and Martin Neale of the University of Ulster has identified two sites from larvae, one each in Tyrone and Armagh. The last 'new' site in the Republic was reported in 1997 from Leitrim. I am sure that sites remain to be discovered in midland counties such as Longford, Leitrim, Cavan and Roscommon. The Irish Damselfly has been recorded from Cavan (1 site), Galway (1), Leitrim (1), Longford (1), Monaghan (6), Offaly (1), Sligo (3) and Westmeath (2). Unfortunately the only Longford site appears to have been destroyed.
11th June 2001
The cold northerly winds seem to have kept dragonfly recording activity to a minimum judging by the almost complete absence of news.
I was in Donegal over the weekend. It was sunny on the Saturday, but very cool with a fresh NW wind. Shelter and dragonflies were hard to find and I only saw a few Four spot Chasers, Large Red and Blue-tailed Damselflies.
It was less windy on Sunday (10th) but dull and overcast for most of morning. Surprisingly I did flush a female Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum from the edge of a shallow dune pool. There have been claimed records of Highland Darter Sympetrum nigrescens from West Donegal so I took a close look at this individual. One character said to distinguish Highland Darter from Common Darter is the extent of the black markings on the face. On this individual I could find no hint of the black line extending down the face so it appeared to me to be a Common Darter. Some field guides still include Highland Darter saying its status is still unresolved. However a study involving Irish and Scottish specimens found the characters unclear with some appearing intermediate. I find the Common Darter varies more in abundance from year to year than any other species. Last year large numbers of Common Darter emerged from my garden pond in June. Very few seem to have bred judging by numbers in August and the number of larvae. So this year I expect few to emerge. This was also my experience in Fermanagh in the late 1980s.
Angus Tyner has sent in the following two observations concering predation.
"A little story with some sort of moral. Spotted a male Common Blue in a web. It was struggling and there was no sign of spider. I offered him my finger which he grabbed and I pulled him free. Some strands were holding his wings but he had some success in removing them by waving his abdomen. He attempted flight prematurely and spiralled down. I lifted him again with my finger and he made further cleaning attempts with success. He took flight, rising vertically up, and then there was a snap from a passing swallow!! I guess he was destined to be a meal and all I did was deprive a spider. It is also interesting following the behaviour of a couple a chaffinches. There is a pair nesting in the willows in the bog and the male is catching damselflies like a flycatcher using the same perch repeatedly. Another male over the lake is like a wagtail with a dancing flight grabbing 3 or so before going to nest."
29th May 2001
Reports of very large numbers of dragonflies have been received from many places - thanks for all your news. It is also very pleasing to get news of observations relating to the biology of individual species.
The main 'headline' news involves first records of the following:
Black-tailed Skimmer Orthetrum cancellatum - near Corofin, Co. Clare (Harry Hussey) and near Rossbeg, Co. Donegal (Peter Nelson) 26th May
Beautiful Demoiselle Calopteryx virgo - near Dungarvan, Co. Waterford 27th May (Harry Hussey)
Banded Demoiselle Calopteryx splendens - River Bann near Portadown, Co. Armagh 27th May (Ian Rippey)
The 26th May is earliest recorded emergence date for Black-tailed Skimmer in Ireland. The Donegal site is the most northerly in Ireland. A single adult was found here - unfortunately dead, its wings still crumpled - at the edge of a pool in sand dunes. Two exuvia were also found. What caused the insect to die is unknown, but emergence is a very vulnerable time for dragonflies and lots of things can go wrong. The record was interesting as I have regularly visited this pond in the last 5 years and have not seen any Black-tailed Skimmers at it before. I will monitor it to see if this is repeated or whether this was a one-off breeding event.
According to your reports Hairy Dragonfly Brachytron pratense appears to be very visible this year. This could be due to higher than normal numbers of adults, but may also be down to the good weather. Cool, wet conditions are not liked by insects or recorders! Angus Tyner has counted over 50 exuvia of Hairy Dragonfly Brachytron pratense on the small lake on his farm near Ashford, Co. Wicklow. This is a revealing statistic. The number of adults which emerge from a lake is much greater than the numbers of adults which will be seen flying around the lake. The difference can partly be explained as adults are predated or just die like the Donegal Black-tailed Skimmer. But also it is a similar story to the number of Blue Tits at a bird feeder - there may be only one or two present at a time, but each time you look you are probably seeing a different individual. Adults essentially will timeshare the pond.
Records of Hairy Dragonfly continue to be have been received from new areas and sites. David Daly reports numbers of at sites around Wexford - there have been few records of it from the SE. At the opposite end of the country in the NW, I saw 2 males flying amongst dense vegetation in a small dune pond near Rossbeg. It has been seen here before but not for almost 10 years. In Kerry on the 23rd Ken Bond saw at least 2 males at Carrahane Strand (the southern part of Banna sandhills) - the first record from this area. Angus Tyner reports it from another Wicklow site on a ditch through coastal grazing marsh near Newcastle. This is a under-recorded habitat in Ireland. In parts of eastern and southern England it can be a very important habitat supporting important populations of Variable Damselfly Coenagrion pulchellum, Scarce Emerald Damselfly Lestes dryas, Hairy Dragonfly and Norfolk Hawker Aeshna isosceles. The records from Donegal and Kerry from sand dunes suggest the species may be commoner than the records suggest along the west and south coasts. There is potential habitat in west Mayo, west Connemara, the Dingle Peninsula and along the Cork coast.
Angus Tyner reports more Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura pumilio emerging near Ashford and Ken Bond saw the species at several sites west of Ennis, in Co. Clare
23rd May 2001
With another fine spell of weather dragonfly numbers continue to build up. However, with dry conditions persisting, in the north at least, pools are drying out. Whilst there may be some short-term impacts on populations of some species, overall the dragonflies should be able to cope with these natural fluctuations.
Ian Rippey has sent in a list of reports from Antrim, Armagh and Monaghan, which includes the first Irish Damselfly Coenagrion lunulatum of the year. At least 12 were seen on the 21st at the Montiaghs Moss, Co, Antrim. Most were mature males but Ian also saw a mating pair. In the first years after this species was found in Ireland the flight period was considered to start about early June. However there have been an increasing numbers of May records of Irish Damselfly especially on cutover bogs sites like the Montiaghs. Whether this is a trend or just a reflection of differences between sites is unclear. It may simply be that recorders are out earlier each year! I must admit to not having seen a single adult myself until yesterday when a damselfly flew over my garden pond as I was watching newts and tadpoles. Unidentified unfortunately, which shows that I must get out more often!
Other recent news includes the following:
Variable Damselfly Coenagrion pulchellum 2 on 21st May at Montiaghs Moss (IR) and 1 the same day near Ashford, Co. Wicklow (Angus Tyner)
Hairy Dragonfly Brachytron pratense a pair on 22nd May at Drumnahavil Bog, Armagh/Monaghan. These were seen on the Monaghan side which is somewhat surprisingly the first record from the county. This dragonfly has been recorded here before, but most records have been from Armagh side (its difficult to know which county you are in on this bog!). (IR)
Irish Damselfly Coenagrion lunulatum 6 males on 22nd May at Drumnahavil, most on the Monaghan side (IR).
Reports from England include early emergence of both Emperor Anax imperator (Cheshire) and Downy Emerald Cordulia aenea (Cumbria). Any Emperor records would be very interesting, but this year we really want to receive records of the Downy Emerald. There are only 12 Irish records of Downy Emerald. Most have been between 25th June and 14th July, but one was on 25th May 1954. It was last reported on 29th June 1992 by Stephen Guy. The scarcity of records may reflect its genuine rarity, but it simply may be because no one is looking in the right places in early or mid June. If anyone is prepared to take up challenge of looking for this species feel free to contact myself at the Ulster Museum.
18th May 2001
More sightings of Hairy Dragonfly Brachytron pratense have been reported. Tom Shevlin saw a female in the Burren, Co. Clare on 14th May along with Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella. Angus Tyner witnessed the emergence of 17 Hairy Dragonfly from a flooded area of bog on his farm near Ashford, Co. Wicklow. This area has had permanent water for only a year so suggests that these individuals had completed larval development in 12 months. Two year larval development is considered normal in Britain but more studies are needed on this in Ireland.
Other sightings reported from the weekend are of Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula and Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata at Ballinafagh Lake, Co. Kildare (Tom Shevlin) and Four-spotted Chaser on bogs around Maghera, Co. Londonderry (Ian Rippey and Trevor Boyd).
15th May 2001
The hot weather over the weekend will have promoted emergence of many species. It will be interesting over the next few weeks to see how species have fared over the cold winter, in particular the possible colonists such as the Emperor Anax imperator. It may be too early yet to determine if this species has genuinely colonised Ireland, but if locally bred adults appear this year it will strongly suggest that the species was present in 1999. The larvae of this species normally take two years to develop. Any larvae from last year would be expected to emerge next season. Searching the edges of ponds for the shed larval skins (exuvia) provides an easy way of determining which dragonflies have bred at a site. This is a much neglected aspect in Ireland and we would encourage recorders to collect them. They can be identified using larval keys but you can also send them to us at the Ulster Museum for identification giving details of where and when you collected them.
The first DragonflyIreland newsletter has been produced. Everyone who contributed records in 2000 will receive a copy by post.
Amongst the news from the weekend were more reports of Large Red Damselflies Pyrrhosoma nymphula including one from Harry Hussey who saw 10 at Ballyvergan near Youghal, Co. Cork on the 10th. At Arklow Ponds, Co. Wicklow on the 12th Michael O'Donnell saw several of each of Azure Coenagrion puella, Common Blue Enallagma cyathigerum, Blue-tailed Ischnura elegans and Large Red Damselflies P. nymphula. Michael also saw two hawkers which appear to have emerged at about 7.30am and flew directly high into the air. They were lost to sight and not seen again. This is typical behaviour for dragonflies on what is often termed their maiden flight. Adults will move away from the ponds they emerged from and spend several days maturing and feeding. The two individuals were almost certainly Hairy Dragonfly Brachytron pratense which is the first hawker to emerge each year. Michael found one exuvia which will provide confirmation of this record which is apparently the first for this site. It will also be the only the third record from Wicklow and the first since 1940.
Also on the 12th Ian Rippey saw a single Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata at Peatlands Park, Co. Armagh.
10th May 2001
Angus Tyner continues to be amazed by his site. Today he saw an immature male Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura pumilio. May sightings are not unknown for this species in Ireland, but this is the earliest recorded date.
5th-7th May 2001
There were more reports of Large Red Damselflies Pyrrhosoma nymphula over the weekend from Graham Day, David Nixon, Julia Nunn, Ian Rippey and Robert Thompson. Julia and Graham saw Large Red often in the Roundstone bog region of Connemara. In N. Ireland Large Reds were seen at the Montiaghs Moss Co, Antrim (RT), at Bohill Wood Co. Down (DN) and in the Silent Valley in the Mournes Co. Down (IR).
3rd May 2001
A newly emerged female Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum was seen today by Angus Tyner near the pond on his farm.
1st May 2001
The following news concerning the first dragonfly of the season was received from Angus Tyner. As usual the first sighting for 2001 was of a Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula. Surprisingly in view of the cold Winter and cool Spring this first record was on the same date as last year. Angus lives near Ashford, Co. Wicklow and the damselfly was seen near a small lake which he has created on his farm.
"What a Mayday surprise. I was inspecting some recently planted woodland this morning and by chance spotted a Large Red Damselfly at a hedgerow bottom. I carefully picked it up and had a good study of it. It didn't look particularly happy as there was a stiff northerly wind after a cool night. The nearest water was about 400m away. However it was perky enough to rotate on my hand so as to always face me. After we had a good look at each other I placed it back. On returning home I consulted the guide to learn that it was a female I'd found. With a stream and small lake in my garden I'm sure there will be plenty more to talk about in future!"
7th March 2001
We expect that the News page will be up and running in the next few weeks. As spring advances dragonfly activity will resume, commencing with the larvae which will move into shallow water prior to emergence. Last year saw some very early emergence dates, but that was after a mild winter. This winter has been the hardest for many years with many lakes and ponds remaining frozen for several weeks, so early emergence dates are unlikely to be repeated. Whether any fieldwork will be possible will entirely depend on the Foot and Mouth situation. The advice of the relevant departments north and south should be heeded.
Over the winter a steady stream of cards have been received. The data from these have now been entered on our database and we have updated our maps on all the species pages. We are aware that some records have not been forwarded to us on cards and consequently cannot be shown. If you have any outstanding records can you please send them in before the start of the next field season. We would also be pleased to receive any records from earlier years. Should you require any cards then please get in touch with one of us.
The following is a summary of highlights from the records.
In total records were received from 270 10km squares. This has been a magnificent start to the mapping project and we wish to express our sincere thanks to all our recorders for their hard work. To set the first year in context the land area of Ireland is covered by approximately 1000 10km squares, so coverage has been 27%. The previous Atlas (Merritt et al. 1992) received records from 676 10km squares, which is a target we would like to exceed. The cards contained 1561 individual species records. These have been added to the 12836 previous records.
The relatively even spread of coverage is noticeable but one of the most encouraging aspects of the first year has been the extension of coverage into previously unrecorded areas. Limerick and north Kerry was one of the biggest gaps but this has been one of the best covered areas so far. Some parts of the midlands still have surprisingly large gaps. The counties from Laois north to Monaghan should have many good dragonfly sites and we are keen to get coverage extended though this area. As well as increasing the general coverage we need to address some key species. Last year the news was dominated by the finding of three new species. Now that the maps have been updated we can see that there were interesting records of many of our established species and these are highlighted below.
Beautiful Demoiselle Calopteryx virgo
There were two interesting records from the midlands extending the range northwards. One was from the River Boyne (N63) (the first record on this river) and the other from the River Glore on the Shannon system near Castlepollard, Co. Meath (N47).
Banded Demoiselle Calopteryx splendens
First record from south Donegal near Murvagh (G87)
Scarce Emerald Damselfly Lestes dryas
Whilst there were no records from the main Burren sites, there were two recorded from 'new' sites including a first record from Wexford.
Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura pumilio
A good scattering of records from established and new sites of this elusive species. There were new county records for Cork (details have not been received) and Limerick (R24).
Irish Damselfly Coenagrion lunulatum
Two new sites were discovered in Tyrone (H57, H67). Still present at its most southerly site Pallas'Lough Co. Offaly (N21).
Common Hawker Aeshna juncea
Many records in Limerick and north Kerry and in south Cork where it has not been recorded before. The records from Wexford were also the first for the county.
Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis
A very good series of records in the Connacht lakes, east Clare and into Limerick.
Downy Emerald Cordulia aenea
No records. Clearly a target species as this is the only established Irish species which has not been seen during this project. The possible site in West Galway was visited without success.
Keeled Skimmer Orthetrum coerulescens
Some additional sites in core areas were found. There were two new records in Donegal (C02, G89). It was refound at Clara Bog in Offaly (N23) and recorded for the first time in north Tipperary (Redwood Bog). Another record from Offaly is the most 'inland' record (N52).
Black-tailed Skimmer Orthetrum cancellatum
Some new sites and county records in the midlands and south in counties Cork (W97), Longford (N37), Tipperary (S13, R84) and Westmeath (N24). Also found in the Ardara area of west Donegal at a new site (G79).
Red-veined Darter Sympetrum fonscolombei
As well as the Cork and Wexford localities this migrant species was seen at Deeragh Lough, Co. Longford in June.
Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum
The records from C03 and G21 extend the range of this species to the north and far west of Donegal and Mayo. As with other species many records to the south of the Shannon Estuary.
Black Darter Sympetrum danae
Unlike the Common Hawker this species has not been found in the south and east except at apparently isolated sites. The Black Darter is so closely associated with lowland bogs that is probably the species which has suffered most from the large scale loss of peatlands in the Irish midlands.
|Nelson, B., Thompson, R. & Morrow, C., 2001 (June 29). [In] DragonflyIreland http://www.ulstermuseum.org.uk/dragonflyireland/|