Willow Emerald Damselfly found in Milton Keynes – Second Update

Female Willow Emerald ovipositing by Harry Appleyard, Tattenhoe Valley Park 4 October 2016

Female Willow Emerald ovipositing by Harry Appleyard, Tattenhoe Valley Park 4 October 2016

Willow Emerald Damselfly found in Milton Keynes – Second Update

On 6th October 2016 we broke the news that a member of the Milton Keynes Natural History Society has identified Willow Emerald Damselflies in Milton Keynes. You can read the story here.
The story has been publicised by a number of organisations:

Discover WIldlife
The Parks Trust
TotalMK
The British Dragonfly Society

Alan Nelson, the Dragonfly Recorder for the Milton Keynes area commented:

As some of you may be aware Willow Emerald Damselfly Chalcolestes viridis was recently found in Milton Keynes Buckinghamshire on 29th September 2016 in the Tattenhoe Valley Park complex and now on other sites around MK. Full credit must be given to a young keen naturalist for this find and this shows the benefits of looking, recording on his local patch and taking photos. I greatly appreciate being informed and being kept up-to-date by him and other recorders.

This species was predicted as the next UK colonising species that is most likely to turn up or as we are finding out are already here in small numbers.

Willow Emerald Damselfly Length: Male: 42-48mm; Female: 39-44mm clearly larger that Emerald Damselfly also they oviposit into the bark of young branches of willow or alder. Please see link http://www.british-dragonflies.org.uk/species/willow-emerald-damselfly

Similar species but may not be flying: Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa Length: 35-39mm http://www.british-dragonflies.org.uk/species/emerald-damselfly

Willow Emerald Damselfly can be typically found hanging on trees. Males lack the blue pruinescence that Emerald Damselfly has but they can lose this with age. There are noticeably larger and have stronger looking flight.

Species known to still be flying in North Bucks: Migrant Hawker, Southern Hawker, Common and Ruddy darter, Willow Emerald Damselfly. Also as it’s still so mild there may still be a few other damselfly species flying i.e. common blue damselflies. Therefore if you see any green damsels have a good look as it may be Willow Emerald Damselfly it should not be confused with outer species still flying

When you out birding and sees a damselfly or oviposition galls/scars as per link please let me know as it can help ascertain the range they have colonized. They have been found in neighbouring counties.

Some public assess sites to look at around MK are: Furzton, Walton Lake, Lodge Lake, Teardrop Lakes, Water gardens, Mt Farm Park Lake, Ouzel Valley Park ponds and the best dragonfly site in North Bucks Emberton CP.

Some other potential new colonising UK species that are most likely to turn up are: Southern Darter, Vagrant Darter, Small Emerald Damselfly, Southern Emerald Damselfly, Dainty Damselfly