Sussex Dragonfly Group

Recording dragonflies and damselflies

Heatmap of species distribution

This map shows the distribution of species records with the number of species that have been recorded within each 1km Ordnance Survey grid square as indicated by the colour of the square. When you zoom in on an area of the map, as you zoom beyond 1:50,000, the resolution of the squares changes and the location of records is displayed in greater detail (100m resolution). If you click on any square a list of all the dragonfly species recorded in that area will appear.

The aim of the map is to help identify those parts of Sussex that are likely to be ‘under-recorded’ or even ‘un-recorded’ allowing a more focussed or targeted approach to Odonata recording in the two counties.

Recording dragonflies and damselflies


Please record your dragonfly and damselfly sightings using iRecord, ideally with a photograph and a brief description of anything else that might be relevant to the record. Your records will be swiftly verified i.e. confirmed as being correct (or otherwise) and then be able to be passed to the Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre and incorporated into their species database, they will also go directly to the British Dragonfly Society and via them to the NBN Atlas.


An alternative to iRecord is iNaturalist. The dataflow is somewhat more complicated when you use iNaturalist. Records are verified in iNaturalist by other recorders and when a sufficient number of agreements on the identity of the species being recorded has been reached, the record is classed as “Research Grade”. Once they have reached this status, UK records are then uploaded to iRecord and, again, subject to expert verification within iRecord. Records in iNaturalist will also be passed to the NBN Atlas and also to GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility). However, if you do choose to use iNaturalist for your recording, please do not set your licence permissions (for usage of you records) to CC-BY NC (non-commercial) as the use of your records will be very restricted and they will not be passed to iRecord and on to other UK users, maybe choose the CC-BY Attribution option as this means that you will still have full ownership and control of your records but they will be able to be utilised by more organisations dedicated to nature conservation. Also, please make sure that you do not use a pseudonym as anonymous records have a reduced value as they are less “complete”.

Your records are extremely valuable, without the continued contribution of volunteer recorders little would be known and understood about dragonfly ecology, status and distribution. The knowledge gained from your records helps directly with their conservation and the preservation, restoration and creation of their habitats.


This map should also help you find locations where lots of dragonfly and damselfly species may be seen (excellent for beginners wanting to hone their identification skills and wishing to get they ‘eye-in’) but please note some or many of the locations shown here maybe on private land. If this is the case please do not visit unless you have the permission of the land owner.

Because many species of dragonfly and damselfly are to be found on or near open water it is very important that all necessary precautions are taken when out recording these wonderful insects.