Tuesday, August 17, 2004

News of a number of Southern Emerlad Dams at Sandwich Bay (Kent) was more than welcome, so I joined friends Tim & Margaret Benton for a dash down to see witness only the second ever sighting of this species in Britain.

We arrived at Sandwich Bay to be greeted by some familiar faces and both male and female SEDs on view. We located at least two different females and at between 5-7 males. The differences from (Common) Emerald damselfly is very obvious, in particular the bi-coloured pterostigma (the small coloured panel near the tip of each wing) and the ante-humeral stripes. The females are really robust with very thick abdoments.

Male Southern Emerald Damselfly Lestes barbarus Sandwich Bay, Kent. Note the bi-coloured pterostigma and green stripes down the thorax.

Female Southern Emerald Damselfly Lestes barbarus Sandwich Bay, Kent. Note the thick, robust abdomen, bi-coloured pterostigma and thorax stripes

Southern Emerald Dams were only added to the British list last July when a small number were found at Winterton Dunes in Norfolk having been predicted only a year before by Adrian Parr in Atropos. Rumour has it the Kent individuals were found in mid-July (the Norfolkf onesl ast year were found on 30 July) and it is likely, given the two locations, that these are recent arrivals from the continent where the species is known to be expanding its range.

We also found several Wasp Spiders while searching for the damselflies - fab eh!

Wasp Spider - dig the zig-zag web

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