White-Legged Damselfly

Key Sites: River Ise, Grand Union Canal (Leicester arm near Yelvertoft), River Nene at Upton Mill and Wellingborough. The White-legged Damselfly has dispersed into Northamptonshire up the Grand Union Canal, and has reached as far east as the River Ise, where breeding was confirmed in 2003. Interestingly, it is largely unrecorded along the River Nene except at Upton Mill near its confluence with the Canal and at Wellingborough at its confluence with the River Ise. Records at Pitsford and Titchmarsh are probably vagrant, dispersing individuals as regular records at these sites do not exist.

Spotting: Not widespread in the County but where it is present it can often be seen in large numbers (e.g the Grand Union Canal, where several thousand have been recorded). Males are much paler blue than either the Common-Blue or Azure Damselflies and are readily distinguished. Both males and females can appear white or very pale in flight until close approach where the colours appear.

Emergence begins in late May or early June and exceptionally individuals can be seen into September.

County Status: Local Priority Species. Expanding range, proof of breeding on the River Ise in 2003.

Platycnemis Pennipes

Group oviposting on a floating twig, River Ise June 2005 © Mark Tyrrell