Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) is a common and widespread damselfly species in Monmouthshire; a red damselfly seen in the county will almost certainly be this species.
The oldest record in our data set is from Pen-ffordd-goch Pond (Keeper’s Pond) on the Blorenge, on an unspecified date in 1961 (observer D. Griffiths).
Current distribution in the county: what we know
There are many post-2019 records from Newport north through Torfaen, through the western valleys, and in the northwest uplands. Elsewhere there is a scattering of records in the east of the county between Monmouth and Chepstow.
Current distribution in the county: what we don’t know
There are large gaps in the mapped distribution, however. As with many species, there are large areas in the north and centre of the county with no records at all, or with only older records. This is almost certainly because no-one has visited sites in these areas recently to record dragonflies, rather than because the species is not present: there is much suitable habitat there.
There are virtually no recent records from the Gwent Levels, which is surprising given how widely recorded it was there prior to 2020. Further recording is needed here to establish if this decline is real, or simply down to under-recording, although the latter explanation seems implausible as this is a conspicuous damselfly, which is on the wing at the same seasons as other species which are still widely present.
Large Red Damselfly is a common and widespread damselfly throughout Wales, England and Scotland occurring north to the Shetlands. Elsewhere in Europe, it is found from Ireland and Portugal east to Russia, north to Scandinavia and Finland, and south to Italy and Greece; it is also found in parts of North Africa and Turkey.