Dragonflies Andalusian trip

Wildlife watching
Expert Nature Guide
Guide nature spécialisé

Natural parks

Alcornocales, Sierra de Las Nieves

Seasons

June

À la carte

7 days chasing dragonflies

Orange-winged dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi)

– 55 species

– the best Andalusian rivers

– Time for photography

– Larvae and exuviae

Region

Spain/ Andalusia

Meeting point

Málaga

Specialized service

Small parties

Andalusia is one of the most rewarding destinations for the observation of odonates in Europe. We will take you to some of the best dragonflies area in this region: the provinces of Malaga and Cadiz.

The region is home to beautiful rivers and streams characterized by low flow and mild water temperatures, conditions which are very favorable to dragonflies and damselflies. Note that the rivers Genal and Hozgarganta are reputed to be the last truly wild rivers of Andalusia.

Highly representative species of these ecosystems are: Copper Demoiselle (Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis), Orange Featherleg (Platycnemis acutipennis), Western Spectre (Boyeria irene), Three species of Clubtails (Gomphus) and three species of Pincertails (Onychogomphus). Rarer and endangered species are the Orange-spotted Emerald (Oxygastra curtisii) and the Splendid cruiser (Macromia splendens), the latter often difficult to observe due to its behavior.

Andalusia is the gateway for African species that colonize Europe, in particular it will be very easy to watch Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata) and Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi), two species of spectacular colors.

Other species whose distribution is restricted to specific localities and habitats in Andalusia are: Ringed Cascader (Zygonyx torridus), Black Percher (Diplacodes lefebvrii), Faded Pincertail (Onychogomphus costae), Common Hooktail (Paragomphus genei), Epaulet skimmer (Orthetrum chrysostigma), Yellow-veined Skimmer (Orthetrum nitidinerve), Long skimmer (Orthetrum trinacria), Desert Darter (Sympetrum sinaiticum), Banded Groundling (Brachythemys leucosticta), Black Pennant (Selysiothemis nigra).

 Travel schedule

DAY 1 | Transfer from Malaga airport - Guadalmina stream

Meeting at Málaga Airport. We will visit the Guadalmina stream located south of the “Sierra de Las Nieves National Park”, where the specialties of southern Spain are present: Ischnura graellsii, Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis, Trithemis kirbyi. We will sleep two nights on the Costa del Sol.

DAY 2 | Costa del Sol streams and reservoir

Visit of an exceptional site with short stream and still water. This permanent stream, well oxygenated and with mild temperatures, is currently one of the best sites for dragonflies in Andalusia. Great observations are guaranteed, let us quote in disorder: Boyeria irene, Oxygastra curtisii, several Gomphus and Onychogomphus, etc. The small reservoir will allow for interesting Orthetrum species.

DAY 3 | Genal River

Whole day dedicated to the Genal River, one of the last two wild rivers in southern Spain and protected by a huge cork oak forest. We will also stop at great view points to enjoy the landscape. All southern European species of running water breed in this river, although in low densities. Accomodation will take place at the lovely white village of Benarrabá for three 3 nights.

DAY 4 |Stagnant waters and generalist species

Day dedicated to Mediterranean species of stagnant waters: Trithemis annulata, Lestes virens, Brachytemis leucosticta, etc. We will visit the temporary pond La Florida, Buitreras Reservoir at Cañada Real del Tesoro, the Guadiaro River and finish with the temporary pond at Encinas Borrachas.

DAY 5 | Hozgarganta River

Hozgarganta River, the other last wild river of the southern Spain, but very different from the Genal, alternating running waters and natural small reservoirs of deep waters. Once again, all Mediterranean species of running waters are potential. Let’s mention Platycnemis acutipennis, Macromia splendens (hard to observe), with have higher densities than in the Genal.

DAY 6 | Faded pincertail quest

We will stop “en route” at a small reservoir close to Montejaque: a wetland rich in stagnant water species such as Orthetrum trinacria and Brachythemys leucosticta. We aim to visit the Guadalete River: a small river of plain strongly resembling the Guadalquivir, and one of the best places for Onychogomphus costae. We will spend two nights near Málaga.

DAY 7 | Searching for rarities

This last day is dedicated to species generally difficult to observe in Western Andalusia. First stop at Las Piedras stream, located in an agricultural area, best place for Orthetrum nitidinerve in Andalusia in recent years. We will finish the trip with a visit to artificial lagoons at  Campanillas, a regular habitat for the eastern species Selysiothemys nigra.

DAY 8 | Back to the airport

This travel is over and we will be back home as soon as possible. Transfer to the airport in the morning.

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INCLUDE

  • A wildlife watching travel lead by local nature guide. Groups 5-8 people.
  • Half board (picnics by the participants).
  • Double rooms (single room supplement).
  • Does not include round-trip flights by plane.

Bonus

The discovery of magnificient Serrania de Ronda with accodomation at a typical white village. Not only you will enjoy wildlife but also the Andalusian culture and gastronomy. Dinners will include typical dishes.