Mid-summer update

As we approach the end of June most of the dragonfly and damselfly species that are known to be breeding in Hertfordshire have now been reported during 2018, although we may have to wait a bit longer for the first records of late summer/autumn species such as Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta) and Willow Emerald Damselfly (Chalcolestes viridis).

Sighting of some of the earliest flying species, in particular Hairy Dragonfly (Brachytron pratense) but also chasers like the Four-spotted Chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata) shown below, will now start to tail off, but many of the more obvious species such as Brown & Southern Hawkers (Aeshna grandis & A. cyanea) and Ruddy & Common Darters (Sympetrum sanguineum S. striolatum) will become more numerous during July and August.

Exciting news this year is that the Green-eyed Hawkers (Anaciaeshna isoceles - also known as Norfolk Hawkers - but that name doesn't seem appropriate any more) that arrived at Amwell four years ago seem to be expanding their Hertfordshire distribution and have so far been reported from three additional Hertfordshire sites, all close to Amwell.

Beautiful Demoiselles, which established a population just outside Hertfordshire a few years ago, on the Turkey Brook at Forty Hall, Middlesex, also seem to be spreading into Hertfordshire, with two reports of what were presumably wandering individuals in the east of the county and reports from Cuffley Brook in the south-east (not too far from Forty Hall). If anyone wants to see this species locally it is best looked for at Forty Hall with the bridge over Turkey Brook at TQ342987 being a good spot. To see them in Hertfordshire the points where public footpaths cross Cuffley Brook at TL315009 and TL310015 seem to provide the best opportunity, but they are at very low density along the brook. More on the Beautiful Demoiselles and Green-eyed Hawkers will follow in the next few days.

Please submit records of any dragonflies and damselflies that you see, including common species, using the record submission form on the HNHS website (http://www.hnhs.org/submit/dragonflies-and-damselflies), via iRecord, or by email to the following email address: dragonflies@hnhs.org  

 

New 'Hertfordshire Dragonflies and Damselflies Facebook group

I have set up a Facebook group that anyone with an interest in the dragonflies and damselflies of Hertfordshire, who uses Facebook, may like to join to share sightings and photos.

A link to the group can be found here: Herts dragonflies Facebook group   

 

Another new dragonfly species reaches Hertfordshire.

The Southern Migrant Hawker (Aeshna affinis) is a dragonfly species that has recently colonised the U.K., mainly since 2010 when there seems to have been an influx into the Thameside marshes of Essex and Kent. Sucessful breeding in the U.K. was first confirmed in Essex the next year.

Beetles of Hertfordshire – introductory offer extended!

We are pleased to announce that the introductory offer on our brilliant new book, Beetles of Hertfordshirehas been extended a by a month to Friday 10 August.

However, demand for Trevor's James's ground-breaking book has already exceeded expectations, and we need to re-stock. This means that although we will continue to accept orders at the introductory price of £25 (plus £10 p&p if required), no further copies will be available for mailing or collection until after 23 July

Written by Trevor James, the county recorder,  the book provides an account of all 2,483 species of beetle so far recorded in Herts. Its publication marks the first time that all the beetles reliably recorded in a UK county have been covered in such a comprehensive way – making it a landmark for future studies.

Published in hardback in the same, attractive A4 format as our five existing wildlife atlases, the book’s 496 pages include 750 distribution maps  and more than 600 colour photographs.

The special introductory price of £25 (plus p&p)  provides a huge £20 saving on the recommended retail price. Click 'read more' for further details, including two launch events.

Dragonfly News

Beautiful Demoiselle gaining a foothold?

Although the Banded Demoiselle, which favours rivers and streams with a silty substrate, is widespread in Hertfordshire and neighbouring counties, the related Beautiful Demoiselle has only occasionally been recorded in the county. A population recently became established just outside the Hertfordshire border, at Forty hall, Enfield, and some from this population seem to be dispersing into Hertfordshire.