Sympecma paedisca is one of the two Dutch damselflies that hibernate as adult. This is reflected in its phenology. Emergence occurs at the end of the summer, peaking at the end of August. Until October, these individuals can be seen along forest edges, heaths and grassy vegetations. Hibernation normally ends at the first sunny days in March. The peak of reproduction in spring is at the end of April and the beginning of May. Before 1970, S.paedisca was a rather common damselfly in the northern part of the Netherlands. A negative trend started, leading to the virtually disappearance around 1980. A long period followed with only a few records, and no known populations. In 1997 however, the species was rediscovered in De Weerribben, one of the largest mesotrophic peat moors in the Netherlands. Since then a remarkable recovery followed with a strong increase in number in De Weerribben and also reproduction at a second site, the Kuinderplas. At the end of summer numbers of S. paedisca are also increasing on heaths and dry forest edges in the provinces of Drenthe, Friesland and Overijssel, sometimes over eighty kilometres away from the reproduction sites. In spring no sign of reproduction has been seen here so far. It is documented in this article that this remarkable pattern already existed before 1970, when S. paedisca was still a rather common species. Reproduction occurs in more of less mesotrophic to eutrophic waters with abundant vegetation. After emergence, a large part of the population departs to drier areas. It is hypothesized in this article that these individuals do not return to their sites of origin, but wander around searching for possible reproduction sites. The fact that no new reproduction sites at these sandy soils have been found (neither have been in the past), suggest that these areas are not suitable and that all these individuals do starve without ha-ving reproduced.

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Nederlandse Vereniging voor Libellenstudie

Robert Ketelaar, René Manger, Evert J. Ruiter, H.M.G. Karin Uilhoorn, & E. Peter de Boer. (2007). Analyse van de verspreiding van de Noordse winterjuffer (Sympecma paedisca) in Nederland. Brachytron, 11(1), 5–20.