Dragonflies in Cumbria
Some 28 species of dragonflies and damselflies (Odonata) have been recorded from
Cumbria. These relatively large and brightly coloured insects are a spectacular
part of the wildlife of Cumbria's wetlands. Most species are fairly easy to identify
and with patience, they can be approached closely enough to photograph. David Clarke
(DavidC@carlisle.gov.uk) will be happy
to help identify pictures of dragonflies in Cumbria sent by email, or cast emergence
skins posted to Tullie House.
The Tullie House Cumbria Biological Records database holds some 6,000 records, received
from many local and visiting naturalists. These include data-sets accumulated by
the national Biological Records Centre, and by the British Dragonfly Society.
There has been significant change in Cumbria's dragonfly fauna in recent years.
Eight species have been recorded as new to the county since 1994: the Emperor (1995);
the Ruddy Darter (1997); the Migrant Hawker (c.1999); the Hairy Dragonfly (2003);the
Scarlet Darter (2004); Black-tailed Skimmer (2005); the Lesser Emperor and Red-veined
Darter (2006). Of these, the first three now appear to have a breeding presence
and may be expected to spread further locally; the others are vagrant occurrences.
Within established species, there have been no clear losses of range and some indications
of local expansion. Those which appear to have spread inlcude the Banded Demoiselle,
Southern Hawker and Keeled Skimmer.
These processes will doubtless continue, prompted by the effects of climatic warming.
More records of the Broad-bodied Chaser might be expected, and other species may
continue their northward spread and reach Cumbria: the most obvious being Black-tailed
Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum) and Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombei)
- both of which have bred just south of the county. There is also the possibility
of occasional accidental introductions through eggs/larvae carried on water-weeds
sold for ponds or aquaria.
We are very grateful to the following people for sending in their dragonfly records.
Abbs, M., Abbs, Mrs A., Adams, Dr J., Armstrong, Mr I., Atkins,
Mr R.S., Atkins, Mrs J., Atty, Mr D.B., Auld, Mr C., Bain, Ms B., Bell, C., Bennett,
Mr A., Bennett, Mrs J., Birchall, J., Blackledge, Mr D., Brian, M.C., Brodie, I.O.,
Broomfield, M., Bruin, D., Brunstrom, S., Bryson, Mr J.G., Burton, Mr P., Cartwright,
S., Clarke, Mr D.J., Clementson, Mr M., CNHS(Carlisle Nat.Hist.Soc.field meeting),
Collins, Mr G.A., Colville, Dr B., Cowen, Mrs R., Cremin, A., Critchley, Mr M.B.,
Crowle, Mr A., Crowther, Mr N.and.Mrs., Dale, Mr A., Dempsey, M., Densley, Mr M.,
Densley, Mrs R., Donnison, Mrs E., Dunstan, S., Dwyer, Mr A., Dwyer, Ms C., E.A.,
Ellis, Mr D.E., English Nature, Evans, A., Fawkes, Mr W.L., Fenton, J., Fiwek-Smith,
C., Franklin, Mr N., Gardner, Mr M., Garner, Mr S., Garner, S.M., Gorley, Ms M.,
Gould, Mr A.F., Harrison, Mr J.P., Hawkins, Mr R.D., Hewitt, Mr S.M., Hodgson, R.,
Holton, Mr N., Hooson, J., Howe, Dr M., Hubbold, Mr R.A., Hubbold, S.M., Hughes,
Ms C., Hulme, Mr I., Hutcheson, Mr M., Iveson, Miss D.A., Jackson, Ms A., Jewell,
Mr D., Jones, R.H. Key, Dr R.S., Kingston, Ms C., Kinnear, Mr P., Kydd, Mr W., Langhorne,
J., Letsche, R., Little, Mr R., Manson, Mr J.K., Marrs, Mr B., Marsh, Mr P., Marshall,
Mr A., Marshall, H., Mawby, Mr F.J., Mawby, Mrs S., McAlone, Mr D., McCleary, J.A.J.,
McCreddie, G., Merritt, Mr R., Miles, Mr J., Miller, Mr J., Miller, Mrs Y., Miller,
Mr K., Mills, A., Morris, R.K.M., Morton, K., Mounsey, Mr J.D., Naylor, Mr G.R.,
Norman, C.G., Norman, Mr G.M., NRA, O'Connor, Mr T., Ogilvie, W.A., Oliver, Ms L.,
Parker, Mr J.B., Patterson, Mr D., Penson, R., Petley - Jones, Mr R., Piercy, Mr
D., Radford, Mr D., Raven, Mr C., Rawes, Mr M., Rawes, Mrs K., Read, Mr R.W.J.,
Reid, T., Reinecke, Ms L., Richards, M., Richardson, Mr C.J., Richardson, Mrs C.,
Ritson, Miss K., Roberts, Mr F.J., Roberts, Mrs M., Robertson, Mr L., Robertson,
Mr L.R., Ruddick, T.H., Saag, Mrs M.F., Sergeant, C.R., Shimmings, Mr P.J., Smith,
P.H., Spencer, Dr B., Stables, Mr H., Strutt, Mr J., Temple, K., Thompson, Dr D.,
Tucker, Mr D., Varian, Mr D.G., Wain, Mr M., Walker, Mrs W., Walker, Mr D., Watson,
I., Weir, Mr J., Wells, Mr T.J., Wilde, Mr P., Wilson, P., Woodhead, Mr D., Wright,