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Hairy Dragonfly – Brachytron pratense

The Hairy Dragonfly is named for its hairy thorax, distinguishing it from other hawkers.

It lives in ponds, lakes, fens, ditches, and canals rich in vegetation, where they are able to feed on flying insects, shelter, and grow sexually mature.

Although it is a common species, it is susceptible to poor ditch management and water conditions, and has disappeared from some areas due to loss of favourable habitat.

The Hairy Dragonfly will usually only fly in sunshine and will hastily retreat if the sun happens to go in.

Eurasian Beaver – Castor fiber

The Eurasian Beaver became extinct in Great Britain during the 16th Century.

The beaver (genus Castor) is a primarily nocturnal, large, semi-aquatic rodent, known for building dams, canals and lodges (their homes).

The beaver works as a keystone species in an ecosystem, by creating wetlands that are used by many other species. Next to humans, no other extant animal appears to do more to shape its landscape.

See the blog post with a summary of its re-introduction into the UK.

Emperor Moth – Saturnia pavonia

The Small Emperor Moth (Saturnia pavonia) is a moth of the family Saturniidae. This moth occurs throughout the Palearctic region and is the only member of its family to be found in the British Isles.

The male flies rapidly during the day from mid-April to late June looking for the rather sluggish females, which usually only fly at night. The species inhabits a range of habitats but is most often associated with heathland and moorland.

Otter – Lutra lutra

The European otter (Lutra lutra), also known as the Eurasian otter, Eurasian river otter, Common otter and Old World otter, is a European and Asian member of the Lutrinae or otter subfamily, and is typical of freshwater otters.

Brown above and cream below, these long, slender creatures are well-equipped for their aquatic habits, and the European otter is the most widely distributed otter species. Its range including parts of Asia and Africa as well as being spread across Europe.

Sawfly – Pamphilius betulae

A mostly yellow sawfly with thin, thread like antennae, mostly found in well wooded areas.

Status in Britain is not known, but the lack of records suggests that it may be rather uncommon, and the pictured specimen was recorded by a UK Wildlife editor, and is a potential first record of the species in Vice-County 55 (Leicestershire & Rutland) – See Pamphilius betulae – First Record VC55

UK Wildlife is a group dedicated to the research and preservation of Biodiversity in the British Isles. Our aims are to raise awareness of the wildlife in your own back yard, and to ensure the survival of species to be enjoyed by generations yet to come. We are funded purely by donations, many financial, but many simply of time by subject matter experts helping us to achieve our aims and goals. We hope you enjoy this introduction to the work we carry out, and if you want to get involved in any way, then please get in touch...