Odonata: Local Wildlife Site Selection Guidelines

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Odonata: Local Wildlife Site Selection Guidelines

These guidelines and site selection have been based upon the dragonfly atlas (White, SJ & Smith PH. 2015. The Dragonflies of Lancashire and North Merseyside. Lancashire & Cheshire Fauna Society.)


Od1 Any site which regularly supports a breeding population of ten or more species of dragonfly or damselfly.

8.1 For the purpose of this guideline acceptable evidence of breeding by dragonfly and damselfly species includes identification of larvae or exuvia; or a female seen ovipositing, mating pairs or the occurrence of regular populations of adults in suitable habitat.

18 species have bred annually in North Merseyside in recent years. Ten species represents a notable local breeding assemblage. The following species are relevant for the purposes of this guideline:

Table A. Damselfly and Dragonfly Assemblage Species
Aeshna cyanea - Southern Hawker
Aeshna grandis - Brown Hawker
Aeshna juncea - Common Hawker
Aeshna mixta - Migrant Hawker
Anax imperator - Emperor Dragonfly
Calopteryx splendens - Banded Demoiselle
Coenagrion puella - Azure Damselfly
Enallagma cyathigerum - Common Blue Damselfly
Erythromma najas - Red-eyed Damselfly
Ischnura elegans - Blue-tailed Damselfly
Lestes sponsa - Emerald Damselfly
Libellula depressa - Broad-bodied Chaser
Libellula quadrimaculata - Four-spotted Chaser
Orthetrum cancellatum - Black-tailed Skimmer
Pyrrhosoma nymphula - Large Red Damselfly
Sympetrum danae - Black Darter
Sympetrum sanguineum - Ruddy Darter
Sympetrum striolatum - Common Darter


Od2 Any site which regularly supports a breeding population of a rare or scarce North Merseyside breeding species

Rare breeding dragonflies and damselflies are those which occur in a single tetrad (2 x 2 km square of the National Grid) in North Merseyside, scarce species occur in two to six tetrads. The species to which this guideline may be applied in North Merseyside include: Red-eyed Damselfly Erythromma najas, Common Hawker Aeshna juncea, Black Darter Sympetrum danae, and Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum.

8.3.1 These species have been selected according to Biodiversity Action Plan guidelines. All are rare in North Merseyside or are restricted to a very few local sites: some are on the edge of their range locally while others are rare in North Merseyside because of a lack of suitable habitat.

Reviewed by: Steve White, British Dragonfly Society Recorder for Vice Counties 59 & 60.
Review Date: July 2016