PORINGLAND LAKES

The Green Heart of Poringland

DAMSELFLIES AND DRAGONFLIES

Rare Damselfly Spotted at the Lakes 


Wildlife photographer Liz Dack may have recently stood down as a trustee but she still has a sharp eye for wildlife at the lakes. 

Earlier this week she snapped this wonderful picture of a relatively new colonist to this country, a Willow Emerald Damselfly which was spotted at Noble lake. 

Prior to the 21 st century, there were very few records of this damselfly in the UK but since the turn of the century more have been observed, primarily in south-east Suffolk. 

At rest, Emerald damselflies all spread their wings at an angle to their body, unlike other damselflies. They usually inhabit ponds or other still water with overhanging trees. The Willow Emerald Damselfly has a characteristic habit of spending much time up in the trees where they lay their eggs in the bark of willow or alder. 

“I was really pleased to get this photo” said Liz.  “You don’t see the Emerald that often.  It is a little bit more wide spread nowadays but still quite a rarity” she enthused.

DAMSELFLIES AND DRAGONFLIES 

These insects belong to the order known as Odonata. 

It’s more than likely that whilst enjoying a day’s fishing the anglers amongst us will be well acquainted with these lively insects. 

Both dragonflies and damselflies can be readily seen patrolling any water bodies and their whole life story can be witnessed in just one day. From the males chasing away any rivals to the egg-laying females visiting the aquatic vegetation. Both as larva and adult, they feed on smaller insects than themselves and could be of benefit to us all by keeping the less-friendly biting insects under control. 

Of the some 40 species to be found in Britain, of which about 15 have already been seen at the Lakes, those listed include the relatively rare Norfolk Hawker. In the past the small conservation pond proved to be an excellent breeding spot for the Brown Hawker. 

Photographs to help with the identification of these insects can be found in the two albums stored on the Poringland Lake’s Facebook pages.

Photographs courtesy of Nick Elsey