BBC reports rediscovery in Britain of Dainty Damselfly

Interesting news today of the rediscovery in Britain of the Dainty Damselfly – which was last seen here in the 1950s on the Essex coast. Found in marshes near Benfleet and Hadleigh it was known just from two 10 x 10 km squares in Britain – so a creature very much on the edge of its European range.

It was apparently lost during the great flood of 1953 when its breeding habitats were swamped by sea water. Although it can live in a wide range of habitats, including the slightly salty brackish water you often find near the coast, like all freshwater creatures, it cannot tolerate the high salinity of sea water itself.

Now it’s been rediscovered in a very similar situation but on the North Kent Marshes – it has presumably recolonised from the continent. Maybe this time it will spread as warmer weather makes the climate here more suitable for this predominantly south European and Mediterranan species.

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