Species Account for Lestes dryas
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Essex RDB: Listed
Threat: Regionally Important/Threatened
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Taxonomic group: dragonflies & damselflies (Odonata) - Available county data
Essex Red Data List comment
Many Thames Estuary sites are threatened by development and/or neglect. Some apparent decline in coastal marshes of N.E. Essex.
This metallic green damselfly breeds in shallow ponds and lakes, overgrown canals, ditches and temporary pools, generally neutral to slightly alkaline and where there is an abundance of emergent vegetation. In grazing levels it will tolerate brackish conditions and may be found where sea club rush predominates. This was always a scarce species in southern and eastern England, and during the 1950s and 60s it was lost from many of its known sites and it was feared extinct in the 1970s. It was rediscovered in Essex in 1983 and has subsequently been found in Essex, Kent and Norfolk. The majority of sites are coastal or estuarine marshes, in dykes or pools that are often chocked with emergent vegetation. Sea Club-rush seems to be a common feature to these sites and the species is clearly tolerant of brackish water (Benton, 1988). References