Damsels in no distress at Traeth Glaslyn!

Teneral female Ischnura pumilio (c) Andrew Graham

A new record of small bluetail (or scarce blue-tailed) damselfly, Ischnura pumilio, was recently made at our Traeth Glaslyn Nature Reserve, near Porthmadog.

Long-time NWWT supporter, Andrew Graham, recorded this species for the first time at the site and took this photo (of a newly moulted female) in mid-May – it’s also the first record for the wider area since 1976. This species, often confused with the more common blue-tailed damselfly (Ischnura elegans), was thought to be extinct at the end of the nineteenth century and is still classed as nationally scarce. It favours poached or disturbed ground, so grazing, cutting, and/or other mechanical disturbance is required to maintain suitably open conditions. We are grateful to our local grazier, Peter Jones, for continuing to graze the site lightly and sensitively with Welsh black cattle – and to all our members for helping us maintain Traeth Glaslyn through their financial support.

Why not visit one of our nature reserves and look for damselflies this summer?  Coincidentally, small bluetail was also recorded at our newest nature reserve, Minera Quarry, for the first time back in 2016 – you don’t always have to travel far to find a rarity!  To contribute further to our conservation work, you could also consider submitting your sightings to our Local Records Centre, Cofnod (www.cofnod.org.uk).

To keep up to date with local dragonfly news and to share your discoveries, events, photographs, poems, cartoons, or links to videos, please subscribe to the North Wales Dragonfly Newsletter ‘Y Fursen’ by sending your email address to the North Wales recorder, Allan Brandon, at allanrowenconwy@sky.com.