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The 'Dragonfly Detectives' return for a second season

Monday 19th June 2017

Four-spotted chaser at Gutteridge Wood (credit Roger Taylor)Four-spotted chaser at Gutteridge Wood (credit Roger Taylor)

Join London Wildlife Trust’s search for the capital’s dragonflies and damselflies

Do you have what it takes to spot the brilliant banded demoiselle or the resplendent ruddy darter? Is your local pond buzzing with the evocative emerald damselfly or the magnificent migrant hawker?

This summer London Wildlife Trust is seeking Dragonfly Detectives for a second year of dragonfly and damselfly spotting across the capital.

These beautiful and fascinating insects thrive in and around clean water and could be a great way of working out how healthy London’s waterbodies are. Little is currently known about their distribution across the city – which is why the help of Londoners is needed. By recording where dragonflies and damselflies have been spotted the Trust can track these beautiful insects and work out how healthy our rivers, lakes and ponds are.

Dragonflies and damselflies are easy to spot with their long bodies and huge wings

The Dragonfly Detectives campaign was launched last year, with southern hawkers and common darters being the most frequently reported species across London.

While garden ponds, nature reserves and local parks accounted for most of the sightings, dragonflies and damselflies were also spotted by rivers and canals, and were even recorded making risky flights along roads! Most exciting of all was London’s first-ever recorded sighting of the lesser emperor dragonfly, at Rainham Marshes. This insect is a rare migrant from continental Europe, having first been spotted in Britain in 1996.

Petra Sovic Davies of London Wildlife Trust, said: “Lots of Londoners will spend time outdoors this summer. Dragonflies and damselflies are easy to spot with their long bodies and huge wings, and many are brightly coloured. If you see one of these incredible insects when you’re out and about, just visit our website and record what you’ve seen - it only takes a few minutes!”

There are more than 30 species of dragonflies recorded in London, including four-spotted chaser, black-tailed skimmer, yellow-winged darter, and azure damselfly. Londoners can quickly and easily share their sightings online via

Dragonfly Detectives is supported by Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Thames Water.

Tagged with: Species, Dragonflies, Surveys