Dragonfly species in Monmouthshire: Four-spotted Chaser

Distribution map of Four-spotted Chaser in Monmouthshire, March 2024
Distribution map of Four-spotted Chaser in Monmouthshire, March 2024, produced using the DMAP for Windows software written by Alan Morton, www.dmap.co.uk

Four-spotted Chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata) is a fairly localised species in the county, mainly found in the northwest uplands and on the Gwent Levels, though with a scattering of sites elsewhere.

The oldest record in our dataset is from near Keeper’s pond on the Blorenge, on 25 May 1983 (observer Bill Keen).

Current distribution in the county: what we know

On the western Gwent Levels, the species has been found from 2020 onwards at several sites stretching from Cors Crychydd reen in the west to Duffryn on the outskirts of Newport; in the east, there is a strong population on the Newport Wetlands reserve, and it also occurs at Magor Marsh.

In the uplands, most post-2019 records are from the Blaenavon area, west to Brynmawr and south to Varteg. There are also clusters of records from the far northwest (e.g. at Waun-y-Pound near Ebbw Vale and Bryn Bach Park near Tredegar), and from the Mynydd Maen / Mynyddislwyn area.

There are also post-2019 records from a few sites on the north and west outskirts of Newport, from the Abergavenny and Monmouth areas, and at Cleddon Bog and Dingestow Court in the east of the county, among other places.

Current distribution in the county: what we don’t know

It is likely that Four-spotted Chaser is more widespread both on the Gwent Levels and in the uplands than the map shows, as there are pre-2020 records from several areas where it has not been recorded more recently. There are probably other sites waiting to be discovered in the under-recorded north and east of the county too.

Distribution elsewhere

Four-spotted Chaser is found widely throughout Wales with major gaps only in some eastern parts of the country. It is also widespread in England, though with a gap on the Pennines. It is found widely throughout Scotland, particularly in the highlands. Elsewhere in Europe, it is found from northern Iberia east to Russia, north to Scandinavia and Finland, and south to central Italy and the Balkans, with localised populations around the Mediterranean. There are populations also in northern Africa and Turkey, and it is found across northern Asia and also widely across North America.