Presenting the National Biodiversity Network

The Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre (SxBRC) is proud to announce that it has exported just under 60,000 Sussex Dragonfly records to the National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Gateway. This is the first dataset to be sent to the NBN Gateway from the SxBRC due to this being a good clean dataset, verified by John Luck, the County Dragonfly Recorder. It is a huge milestone for the group.

The National Biodiversity Network (NBN) describes the Gateway as “an innovative website which acts as a “data warehouse” for biodiversity information, which can be quickly and easily accessed to understand the distribution of particular species in the UK. Individual records, can be displayed on a map of the UK in a number of different ways.”

The British Dragonfly Society - Sussex Group and the SxBRC have decided that the Sussex Dragonfly data will only be shown at a 1km resolution and that full details of the records will only be available on request; so the user will only be able to see a map of what data is available for Sussex and then they know that they can come to us for more information. This way we are not compromising the integrity of the dataset, information on any rare or protected species or losing track of who has used the data. By adding this data we will be adding a missing part of the jigsaw on a national level, so that population trends and distributions can be seen much clearer throughout the UK.

If you would like to see the Sussex Dragonfly dataset then visit the NBN Website and click on the “NBN Gateway” tab. It’s worth a visit; you can search for individual species, search through the datasets that are available or even pull up all records for a particular site. Simply type in the species you would like to see a map for, e.g. Emperor Dragonfly, and when it comes up with the results click on ‘Grid map of the distribution of Anax imperator’ and you can then pick the location and play around with the changeable settings. You can also use the ‘Interactive map’ for which there is a link near the top of the page, so you can view where the data has come from, zoom in, and see the data against different boundaries including SSSIs and other designated sites. This is an excellent tool for highlighting gaps in our data, perhaps this Dragonfly season you could explore new or under-recorded areas?

Happy hunting!

Penny Green



Recording is the essence of what we do

Our records are essential to the understanding of the key site locations; their waxing and waning over the seasons and years.

Migration, potential colonisations, habits and abundance are what we learn season by season. Our records, and those of other societies and,
other recorders help build up the national distribution picture.

There are three choices of recording systems: LIVING RECORD is the preferred.

  1. A computerised Odonata Recorder, that requires MS Excel, but reduces the workload of the county recorder by obviating manual transcription of records. This can be downloaded from the sidebar on the right hand side of this page, under electronic records.

  2. A paper form system (RA83 recording form) for those who do not have Excel. This can also be downloaded from the sidebar.

  3. Our brand new Living Record tool, which allows records to be inputted online. PLEASE USE THIS IF YOU CAN!


Please submit electronic records to Penny Green: pennygreen AT    

Please submit paper records and/or exuviae by post to:  

Penny Green,
Sussex Wildlife Trust,
Woods Mill,
West Sussex,


Recording Priorities

This year the County Recorder has set a list of recording priorities
  1. Breeding (mating, egg laying etc) Rarities:

    1. Variable Damselfly

    2. Small Red Damselfly

    3. Club-tailed Dragonfly

    4. Downy Emerald

    5. Brilliant Emerald

    6. Scarce Chaser

    7. Keeled Skimmer

    8. Black Darter

  2. Breeding common species

  3. Rare Migrants

  4. Large influxes of common migrants

What constitutes proof of breeding?

A grid reference, date, time, and either:

  1. An exuvia or good photo of
  2. A good photo of metamorphosis in progress
  3. A photo of both Exuvia and Emergent
  4. A photo of pre-flight emergent,
  5. as above Preferably with colouring showing
Please post exuviae, in a matchbox or similar container to Graeme Lyons



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Digital Photos

With the advent of digital cameras the identification of species can now be ascertained from photographs.

Those who are uncertain of identification can send photos (by e-mail or post) to the County Recorder, who will be happy to advise and authenticate.

All records are gratefully appreciated, each one helps us to better understand our Dragonfly populations and how we can best support them.

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