Scarce chasers are just that: scarce. They are a species of dragonfly that is considered rare, its small local populations at risk. They are listed in Category 3 in the British Red Data Book which documents rare and endangered species in the UK. Category 3 lists species that are estimated to exist nationally in only fifteen or fewer 10 km squares.
This female was photographed by DKG, in the park, on Wednesday morning.
The scarce chaser (Libellula fulva) is restricted to just 6 main localities in southern England. Populations appear to be stable and there is evidence that suggests that it may be expanding its range as our climate changes.
It usually inhabits marshes and the banks of slow moving rivers; it needs good quality water, submerged and floating plants, dense marginal vegetation and the presence of prey species. Occasionally, a pond or (in the case of Southwick Park) a series of ponds, will meet these criteria; our plentiful crop of midges and mosquitoes this year may well have played a part.
We hope she is not just a visitor but is one of a breeding population. Well spotted DKG and beautifully photographed.
Photographs of female: DKG
Photograph of male: Wikimedia Commons, Gail Hampshire
More insects below