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Sedgeling – Nehalennia speciosa

Most of the news you hear lately concerning nature is bad: climate change, melting ice, disappearing species. But sometimes there is some good news as well. Last weekend, during the Dutch Dragonfly Day (which I missed unfortunately) it was announced that last year a small population of Sedgeling (Dwergjuffer, Nehalennia speciosa) was discovered in the eastern parts of the Netherlands.

The Sedgeling is the smallest European damselfly, not much bigger as a match stick. They live in marshlands in between the small ponds and the dryer vegetation. A very vulnerable and rapidly changing ecosystem. We still have a few of those places in the Netherlands, but the last sighting of Sedgelings were in 1955 and 1912… And as there dispersion capabilities most likely are quite small, chances were slim they would reach the Netherlands again. But still, a population was found… Two options: either the dispersion capabilities are larger as expected or, in my opinion more likely, this population has been overlooked completely. Having seen these tiny damsels in Germany and knowing how much effort we had to put in finding them, even though we knew exactly where we should find them, I can completely understand that they can live undetected for a long time.

Next steps will be to get an idea how this population is doing over the next years and hopefully we can go and visit in the future…

Arjen Drost

Arjen is a Polar ecologist, nature photographer and full time expedition guide on expedition cruise ships in both Polar regions. With his pictures and stories he likes to show the beauty of these very fragile and threatened places.

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