Species of the Month - May 2014

Large Red Damselfly

Pyrrhosoma nymphula

This is almost always the first member of the dragonfly tribe to be seen each year, with the first sightings normally in early May.  It is unmistakable at this time of year as no other species has the red colouring, though in late summer it can be confused with the Highland Darter if not well seen.

Pyrrhosoma nymphula

The Large Red Damselfly can turn up almost anywhere.  It will breed in lochs, ponds, ditches, bog pools and the slower parts of burns.  When not ready to breed it can be found at some distance from water.

Pyrrhosoma nymphula, mating pair   Pyrrhosoma nymphula (f. fulvipes), tandem pair

A pair in tandem at a bog pool and another on water-lily leaves at a loch.

Pyrrhosoma nymphula, male   Pyrrhosoma nymphula - female

The male has no black on abdominal segments 2-6 (above left) and is also narrower than the female (above right), who has variable amounts of black on the abdomen but always some black on segments 5 and 6 at least. (There are 10 abdominal segments altogether.  No's 1, 9 and 10 are very short)

Please send in yo
ur Large Red Damselfly sightings using the form below, or email sightings@lnhg.org.uk with the details if you prefer.  If you are not sure of the identity of your insect, please send a photo to sightings@lnhg.org.uk, or put one on the LORN forum and let me know it is there.

Date of sighting 
Grid reference 
Number seen 
Name of finder 
Your name (if different) 
Email (not needed if I already know it!) 
Any other details, e.g. habitat, behaviour   


By filling in this form you agree that the information contained in this form may be collated and disseminated manually or electronically for environmental decision-making, education, research and other public benefit uses in accordance with the LNHG data access policy.  Your email address will not form part of the record and will not be passed on to anyone.

Carl Farmer
G Biological Records Manager

Sightings so far

3 May: Three seen in different locations at Inverawe by Carl Farmer and Joanne Simms.  Have seen several there since.

9 May: One seen at Barcaldine near garden pond by Clive Craik

11 May: One seen near Benderloch

19 May: One seen at Taynuilt.  More seen since.

24 May: Several seen in Ardmaddy Gardens during SWT Open Day

27 May: Judith reports two tandem pairs laying eggs in Drimfern Ponds, Glen Aray

31 May: Sallie saw several at Inchree


Note you can still send in records for past species of the month.  Here is the list of species we've had so far:

Apr 2014 - Hedgehog
Mar 2014 - Hairy Bittercress
Feb 2014 - Pale Brindled Beauty
Jan 2014 - Velvet Shank
Dec 2013 - Frilly-fruited Jelly Lichen
Nov 2013 - Whooper Swan
Oct 2013 - Ballerina Waxcap
Sep 2013 - Parrot Waxcap
Aug 2013 - Vapourer Moth

Jul 2013 - Emerald Damselfly
Jun 2013 - Globe Flower
May 2013 - Early Purple Orchid
Apr 2013 - Peacock Butterfly
Mar 2013 - Oak Beauty
Feb 2013 - Coral Lungwort

Jan 2013 - Willow Jelly Button & Birch Jelly Button
Dec 2012 - Dice Lichen
Nov 2012 - Feathered Thorn
Oct 2012 - Dryad's Saddle
Sep 2012 - Tawny Grisette
Aug 2012 - Forest Bug
Jul 2012 - Grayling
Jun 2012 - Greater and Lesser Butterfly Orchids
May 2012 - Small Copper
Apr 2012 - Green Tiger Beetle
Mar 2012 - March Moth
Feb 2012 - Barren Strawberry
Jan 2012 - Brambling
Dec 2011 - Red Squirrel
Nov 2011 - Hazel Gloves
Oct 2011 - Small Tortoiseshell
Sep 2011 - Fly Agaric
Aug 2011 - Grass of Parnassus
Jul 2011 - Golden-ringed Dragonfly
Jun 2011 - 7-spot Ladybird
May 2011 - Green Hairstreak
Apr 2011 - Townhall Clock

Mar 2011 - Frogspawn

Next month's page
Current month's page

All photos and other content copyright Carl Farmer except where stated