Irish damselfly is Northern Irelands favourite invertebrate

Wednesday 13th June 2018

Wildlife charity Buglife is excited to announce the results of a recent National Bug Vote.  The vote, delivered via Twitter, asked which invertebrate is Northern Ireland’s favourite, and gave the option to vote for the Irish damselfly, Northern colletes bee, White-clawed crayfish and Zircon reed beetle. All of these species are important and are valued in their own right, however the competition was quickly dominated by the damselfly which gained almost 40% of the votes.  Not too far behind were the Northern colletes bee and the White-clawed crayfish which were tied in second place. 

The Northern Ireland results in detail

Irish damselfly                                   (Coenagrion lunulatum)                               38%

Northern colletes                            (Colletes floralis)                              25%

White clawed crayfish                    (Austropotamobius pallipes)      25%

Zircon reed-beetle                          (Donacia aquatica)                         12%

You know that summer is here when you spot dragonflies on the wing! The Irish damselfly is active in the early summer months from late May to July.  Irish damselflies are found in Ireland, but not in Britain for start.  And this is a good looking insect – the males are have a blue and black striped body, and a bright green underside to their head and thorax, the females are less striking and are more green than blue.

Adam Mantel from Buglife in Northern Ireland said “It’s great to see the iconic, beautiful Irish damselfly coming out on top.  It is a species that is typical of some of the best aquatic Irish habitats, small unpolluted lakes with floating vegetation that dot our landscape like jewels.  It is known from less than a hundred sites stretching from the Burren in County Clare northwards to the Lough Neagh area in Northern Ireland.”

The Irish damselfly, along with the winning invertebrates from our other UK nations will soon be gracing the cover of Buglife’s 2017 annual review and will individually be the front for a new series of membership recruitment leaflets.