My interest in dragonflies and damselflies (odonata) is a relatively recent development, indeed prior to 2012 I knew next to nothing about these prehistoric looking insects, the dry and barren hills of the Yorkshire Wolds hardly being suitable habitat for them. However since 2012 they have become one of my favourite subjects of study, these ferocious predators of the insect world being amongst the most rewarding and fascinating of all winged insects. The fact that they, unlike many insects, are relatively easy to identify by visual examination alone also makes them imminently suitable for the country naturalist, as does their relatively long flight period, which for some species lasts from May right through to the first frosts of the autumn.

ZYGOPTERA (Damselflies)


Emerald Damselfly (Lestes sponsa)


Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula)
Small Red-eyed Damselfly (Erythromma viridulum)
Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans)
Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella)
Variable Damselfly (Coenagrion pulchellum)
Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum)

ANISOPTERA (Dragonflies)


Common Hawker (Aeshna juncea)
Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta)
Southern Hawker (Aeshna cyanea)
Brown Hawker (Aeshna grandis)
Emperor Dragonfly (Anax imperator)


Golden-ringed Dragonfly (Cordulegaster boltonii)


Four-spotted Chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata)
Scarce Chaser (Libellula fulva)
Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa)
Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum)
Keeled Skimmer (Orthetrum coerulescens)
Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum)
Ruddy Darter (Sympetrum sanguineum)
Black Darter (Sympetrum danae)