ONE of the world’s most beautiful prehistoric insects is being celebrated by a partnership between Dorset Wildlife Trust and newly formed local group Dorset Dragonflies.

These ancient insects may be found worldwide, but Dorset is home to some very rare species.

There are 25 species of dragonfly and 17 species of damselfly resident in the UK plus seasonal migrants.

Many are easily recognisable such as the emperor dragonfly, the UK’s largest. The often over looked dainty damselflies showcase some of nature’s most dazzling colours, such as the azure and emerald damselflies. Dorset Dragonflies have now launched a website, which aims to get even the most novice nature lovers reporting their sightings and sending in photos, plus helping visitors identify all the Dorset species.

Andrew Brown, Dorset Dragonflies co-ordinator, said: “When I became the dragonfly recorder for Dorset I made it an aim to encourage more people to get involved in recording or just looking at dragonflies, so I started to form a local group.

“But the group and new website are not just for specialists, I want as many people as possible to get involved, to get out in the countryside, enjoy our events and courses, and really start looking at the dragonflies they find. Also by using Facebook and Twitter we hope to encourage everyone to send us their photos, stories and recordings.”

Dorset Dragonflies’ new website can be found at <&bh"">dorsetdragon<&eh> and they can also be followed on Facebook at and Twitter at <&bh""> dorsetdragonfly<&eh> Dorset Wildlife Trust is hosting a day course on dragonflies and damselflies at the Kingcombe Centre on June 23 from 10am till 4pm.

For details visit dorsetwildlife or call 01300 320684.