Dragonflies and Damselflies

Image07.jpg (66160 bytes)
Following restoration work of its freshwater habitats, the Woodland Education Centre is now an exceptional site for these increasingly rare insects.

A significant number of dragonfly and damselfly species no longer exist in Britain.

The Nature Conservancy (English Nature) has stated that "No other group of animals has suffered a 10% loss of species in the last 25 years"

The Centre is regionally important because it is a breeding site for the Ruddy Darter (Sympetrum sanguineum).  This dragonfly is only recorded as breeding at two other sites in Devon, England.

wpe15.jpg (18524 bytes)

A male Ruddy Darter (Sympetrum sanguineum)

Female Broad-bodied Chaser
(Libellula depressa)

Usually one of the first dragonflies to emerge at the Centre during the early summer months, the Broad Bodied Chaser is characterised by its short, wide abdomen.  The abdomen is golden brown on the female and powder blue on the male.


Odonata sightings recorded at the Woodland Education Centre



Southern Hawker          Aeshna cyanea
Common Hawker         Aeshna juncea
Emperor                        Anax imperator
Goldenring                    Cordulegaster boltonii
Blacktailed skimmer     Orthetrum cancellatum
Broad bodied chaser    Libellula depressa
Four spotted chaser     Libellula quadrimaculata
Ruddy Darter                Sympetrum sanguineum
Common Darter            Sympetrum striolatum
Migrant Hawker          Aeshna mixta
Keeled skimmer          Orthetrum coerulescens


Emerald                        Lestes sponsa
Beautiful Demoiselle     Calopteryx virgo
Banded Demoiselle      Calopteryx splendens
Large Red                    Pyrrhosoma nymphula
Blue Tailed                   Ishura elegans
Azure                           Coenagrion puella
Variable blue                Coenagrion pulchellum
Common Blue             Enallagma cyathigerum

Note: In the South West of England locations where 17 species of Odonata breed is judged by English Nature to qualify for consideration as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.


Click here to see video clip of Damselfies mating from
"The Summer Fliers" dragonfly video
courtesy of
Quartz Productions
This video has been reduced to one tenth of its original size and quality for delivery over the Internet.

More info on the dragonfly video