When to see Dorset Dragonflies: A rough guide

Adult dragonflies can be seen on the wing for 8 months of the year, throughout spring summer and well into the autumn in Britain. Different species emerge at different times and can be classed into three groups: early spring/summer species, summer species and summer/autumn species depending on their peak emergent times. June, July and August are the peak months and all of Dorset’s species will be on the wing during this period.

Click on each name below to see what characteristic species you may expect to see during each month of the year. Of course there are always exceptions and this is only meant as a guide to know what to expect over the season.

April 

Damselflies: Banded Demoiselle, Large Red Damselfly

Dragonflies: Hairy Dragonfly, Downy Emerald

May

Damselflies: Banded Demoiselle, Beautiful Demoiselle, Large Red Damselfly, White-legged Damselfly, Azure Damselfly, Variable Damselfly, Common Blue Damselfly, Blue-tailed Damselfly, Red-eyed Damselfly.

Dragonflies: Hairy Dragonfly, Emperor Dragonfly, Downy Emerald, Four-spotted Chaser, Broad-bodied Chaser, Scarce Chaser, Black-tailed skimmer, Keeled Skimmer.

June

Damselflies: Banded Demoiselle, Beautiful Demoiselle, Emerald Damselfly, Large Red Damselfly, Small Red Damselfly, White-legged Damselfly, Southern Damselfly, Azure Damselfly, Variable Damselfly, Common Blue Damselfly, Blue-tailed Damselfly, Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly, Small Red-eyed Damselfly, Red-eyed Damselfly.

Dragonflies: Hairy Dragonfly, Southern Hawker, Brown Hawker, Emperor Dragonfly, Golden-ringed Dragonfly, Downy Emerald, Four-spotted Chaser, Broad-bodied Chaser, Scarce Chaser, Black-tailed Skimmer, Keeled Skimmer, Common Darter.

July

Damselflies: Banded Demoiselle, Beautiful Demoiselle, Emerald Damselfly, Large Red Damselfly, Small Red Damselfly, White-legged Damselfly, Southern Damselfly, Azure Damselfly, Variable Damselfly, Common Blue Damselfly, Blue-tailed Damselfly, Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly, Small Red-eyed Damselfly, Red-eyed Damselfly.

Dragonflies: Common Hawker, Migrant HawkerSouthern Hawker, Brown Hawker, Emperor Dragonfly, Golden-ringed Dragonfly, Downy Emerald, Four-spotted Chaser, Broad-bodied Chaser, Scarce Chaser, Black-tailed Skimmer, Keeled Skimmer, Common Darter, Ruddy Darter, Black Darter.


August

Damselflies: Banded Demoiselle, Beautiful Demoiselle, Emerald Damselfly, Large Red Damselfly, Small Red Damselfly, White-legged Damselfly, Southern Damselfly, Azure Damselfly, Variable Damselfly, Common Blue Damselfly, Blue-tailed Damselfly, Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly, Small Red-eyed Damselfly, Red-eyed Damselfly.

Dragonflies: Common Hawker, Migrant HawkerSouthern Hawker, Brown Hawker, Emperor Dragonfly, Golden-ringed DragonflyFour-spotted Chaser, Broad-bodied Chaser, Black-tailed Skimmer, Keeled Skimmer, Common Darter, Ruddy Darter, Black Darter.

September

Damselflies: Banded Demoiselle, Beautiful Demoiselle, Emerald Damselfly, Small Red Damselfly, Azure Damselfly, Common Blue Damselfly, Blue-tailed Damselfly, Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly, Small Red-eyed Damselfly, Red-eyed Damselfly.

Dragonflies: Common Hawker, Migrant HawkerSouthern Hawker, Brown Hawker, Emperor Dragonfly, Golden-ringed DragonflyFour-spotted Chaser, Broad-bodied Chaser, Black-tailed Skimmer, Keeled Skimmer, Common Darter, Ruddy Darter, Black Darter.

October

Damselflies: Emerald Damselfly, Small Red Damselfly, Common Blue Damselfly, Small Red-eyed Damselfly.

Dragonflies: Common Hawker, Migrant Hawker, Southern Hawker, Brown Hawker, Golden - ringed Dragonfly, Four-spotted Chaser, Black-tailed Skimmer, Common Darter, Ruddy Darter, Black Darter.

November

Dragonflies: Common Hawker, Migrant Hawker, Southern Hawker, Common Darter, Black Darter.
  

Azure Damselfly (photo © Jane Adams)
Common Darter (photo © Jane Adams)