The Dragonflies and Damselflies of Norfolk
Dragonflies are one of the oldest and most fascinating groups of insects in the world. This site is a guide to the many different species that can be found in Norfolk. We aim to show you where to go to see dragonflies and what you are likely to see when you get there.
Why watch dragonflies?
Well they're exhilarating to watch as they soar and swoop around the sky. An adult dragonfly weighing less than an ounce can reach 40mph – that's a power to weight ratio unmatched anywhere else on Earth. They have vertical take-off, can fly backwards almost as fast as forwards, hover, and perform 180 degree turns in one and a half wing beats.
They’re fascinating to study: Their life-cycle, genetics, and behaviour are still incompletely understood, and they remain one of the few areas of science where the interested amateur can genuinely make a contribution – from recording distribution and emergence dates through to observations of behaviour and the raising of larvae.
They’re beautiful: with a range of colours and patterns that will delight and dazzle, as we hope the photographs here will show.
And they’re attainable: no need for expensive trips to foreign climes, no trudging across wind-swept mudflats at dawn – all that is needed to see dragonflies is a pond or stream, a sunny day, and the patience to wait for a few minutes.
How to use this site
The site has two main sections: Locations and Species. The two sections are cross-referenced; selecting a location will show you the species recorded at that site, whilst selecting a species will show you the locations where that species can be found. We have selected a few of the best sites in Norfolk, but of course most of the species can be found in far more locations.
Hopefully this site will lead more people to enjoy these beautiful and fascinating insects.
This website runs on space kindly donated by Astutech Ltd.
We would like to thank them for their generous support.
Thanks are also due to all the photographers who have so kindly donated images to the site - copyright of course remains with them.
Incidentally links between pages in this site are shown like this, while links that take you to a different web site are shown like this, unless they are in a block clearly labelled as external links (like the Links page itself). Just use the Back button on your browser to return to us from those links.