The OpenScience Laboratory The Open University

iSpot Forum

State of UK dragonflies

The British Dragonfly Society has just published a report on the status of all known Odonata species in the UK. It provides a fascinating insight into the ups and downs of dragonflies and damselflies. Even on a quick read, I learned a lot! Just one taster to whet the appetite: the authors tip scarlet darter (Crocothemis erythraea) to colonise the UK before too long.
The link is: https://british-dragonflies.org.uk/news-events/news/
Crocothemis_erythraea

It is surprising (to me) and worrying that the Common Emerald (Lestes sponsa) is the one suffering the worst decline.

The species that are suffering most seem to be ones associated with acid bogs? I haven’t seen a common emerald for years - but I guess I just don’t visit the right habitats.

Given that resources are usually limited, then an increase in these predators (adult and larvae) suggests that something else is losing out, not necessarily another Odonata.

I think that it’s possible that climate change and other factors are creating a lack of stability - if all factors remained the same, presumably the species would each find their natural balance. We may not see such stability again in our life-times.