My first reasonably serious attempt at finding dragonflies in Spain was in August this year, when we drove to Jalón to help a friend clebrate his birthday in early August and to take in something of the summer heat and fiestas. I’d bumped into a few specimens in a later spring trip but this August had been my first brush with the height of the Odo season in Spain.
Having been invited to serve as house-and-dog-sitters once more, we arrived back at Jalón on December 19th for the seasonal festivities, a welcome escape from Christmas at home.
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Jalón: 22-23 Dec, 2013
I certainly didn’t arrive in Spain this late in the year expecting to see any Odos but, on December 22nd and 23rd with the sun shining on rock pools in the local Jalón river, I was pleasantly surprised to see a handful of darters, including some late season ovipositing. On closer inspection of my photographic evidence, they proved to be:
- Common Darters (Sympetrum striolatum)
Since colleagues had been spotting Common Darters active in Hampshire in early December this year, I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised by their being active this late this much further south, but I was – pleasantly so, of course.
This may be a report of a single species in a single location but, since it represents my latest ever date for Odos in Europe, I though it was definitely worth an honorable mention.
Most interesting, for me, anyway, was the fact that I had not spotted any Common Darters at this location in August. So, not only was tbhis a new species for this location but I’d have thought they would have been active in August, too. Curious.