Meet the British Dragonfly Society and find out more about dragonflies during WWT London Wetland Centre’s Dragonfly Weekend, 14 – 15 July.
There are dragons on the loose at WWT London Wetland Centre! Ferocious winged beasts swoop through the skies over the Centre throughout the summer months, using their vicious claws to grab their prey. In folklore, they’ve been called Adder Bolts, Snake Doctors, Horse Stingers and Devil’s Darning Needles.
But there’s no need to fear these airborne carnivores: the largest is less than 10cm long, and they pose no threat to people. In fact, they provide humans with a useful service: dragonflies help to control the numbers of biting gnats, midges and mosquitoes.
Throughout Dragonfly Weekend at London Wetland Centre, The British Dragonfly Society will be here to answer your dragonfly questions and provide tips on ID. Knowledgeable dragonfly enthusiast Henry Curry will be leading walks around the reserve, where you’ll find out more about the perfect habitats for these insects. You can also join Henry for short dragonfly talks where he will reveal fascinating facts about dragonflies and damselflies.
Henry Curry said “I’m looking forward to introducing people to the amazing world of dragonflies. They’re incredibly beautiful, complex animals. And they’re important wetland species because their presence indicates clean water and healthy wetlands. Their habitats have been in decline in recent years but people can help by protecting local wetlands such as London Wetland Centre, ponds and streams or even creating their own wetlands such as small garden ponds, to give these amazing insects a brighter future.”
WWT London Wetland Centre is home to 22 species of Odonata – dragonflies and damselflies – including the rare Hairy dragonfly which first bred at the Centre in 2010. They breed around the shallow ponds and pools, and their voracious larvae develop underwater. July is a great time for dragonfly spotting, as they’ll be hunting smaller flying insects across the reserve.
Image: Migrant Hawker – Anne and Chris Algar.