I can’t believe that it’s been five years since I first found Downy Emerald as a new breeding species of dragonfly at Castle Water. Last year I did not find any exuvia or see any adults on the wing, so thought it was just a short term thing as the species had been expanding its range in the south east and had just used Castle Water as a stepping stone to find other woodland habitats. While at the viewpoint this morning I checked the margins to see if the sunny weather had encouraged any dragonflies to emerge, and was delighted to find 3 Downy Emerald in the process of emerging and 5 exuviae. Several Hairy Dragonfly and small numbers of Red-eyed Damselfly were also emerging in the margins.
Downy Emerald at stage four of emergence
Still with exuvia and starting to get the green metallic sheen.
Detail showing hairy thorax