Records are kept of the Dragonflies (Odonata) seen in the Observatory recording area although recording was fairly casual before 1995.
The first dragonflies to appear are Red-eyed Damselflies, Common Blue and Blue-tailed Damselflies and Hairy Hawkers. The first three of these are usually found around the banks of the Long Pits but the Hairy Hawker is just as likely to be seen amongst the bushes of the trapping area or in the moat.
Black-tailed Skimmers and Four-spotted Chasers are the next to appear with the former usually found holding small territories on open stretches of shingle bank on the Long Pits. Emperor Dragonflies, whilst not occurring in large numbers are very obvious as they patrol large territories over open areas of water. From the end of July it is always worth checking the large dragonflies as in recent years a number of Lesser Emperors have been seen. The first British record of this species was in 1996 but numbers have increased since then and Dungeness has provided a considerable proportion of the records.
Early summer sees the emergence of small numbers of Small Red-eyed Damselflies - a recent colonist of the Long Pits. The southern end of the Southern Pit is the best place to look for these.
In 2015 a Downy Emerald caught in the moat was a new species for Dungeness and only our second record of Broad-bodied Chaser was noted.
See below for a list of the Odonata occuring at Dungeness