Minibeasts to look for in July — Dragonfly


Where to look

Adults are day-flying and are usually seen over freshwater, near river banks, streams or ponds. Try pond dipping to find them in their nymph stage!


There are 38 species of dragonflies (Latin name Odonata) in the UK and they can be divided into two distinct groups, Damselflies and Dragonflies. The easiest way to tell the difference between the two is their resting wing positions. Dragonflies rest with their wings out flat, while damselflies often rest with them folded over their backs.  There are three stages in the life-cycle of all dragonflies. The egg hatches into the larva or nymph, which moults up to 15 times before emerging as an adult. Unlike most other insects, there is no pupal stage and the change from larva to adult is known as incomplete metamorphosis. This doesn’t always take place in one year as the larva may spend up to three years underwater before emerging as an adult. The adult stage is usually the shortest in the life-cycle and rarely lasts for more than a week or two in the UK.  Both nymphs and adult dragonflies are top pond predators, with the nymphs having special mouthparts which shoot out and seize their prey. While the adults catch their prey on the wing, using their legs like a basket to scoop it up mid air!  


“Broad bodied Chaser!”
“A yellow Broad-bodied Chaser hovering over a pond.”
“I looove damsleflies!”
“On a walk by the lakes”
“I only have a tiny pond in my garden, but I still manage to attract damselflies”

Where we've found Dragonflys

Dragonfly spottings journal (10 seen)

Last seen Location Spotted by Group Notes
27 May 2024 Stroud Valleys Project
13 Aug 2023 Stroud Valleys Project
22 Aug 2022 Stroud Valleys Project
7 Jul 2021 Stroud Tamsin Stroud Valleys Project
23 Aug 2020 St Breward, Cornwall Daisy Blended Broad bodied Chaser!
14 Jun 2020 St Breward, Cornwall Gav Blended A yellow Broad-bodied Chaser hovering over a pond.
14 Jun 2020 Cornwall Gav Blended I looove damsleflies!
7 Jun 2020 South Cerney Oakley Wales Class On a walk by the lakes
11 May 2020 Garden Amélie Cooks&Co
22 Apr 2020 Stroud Tamsin Stroud Valleys Project I only have a tiny pond in my garden, but I still manage to attract damselflies


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