Dragonflies and damselflies promise to be the Algarve’s new nature tourism attraction, with a total of 52 different species found in the region alone.
Nuno Loureiro, a professor at the Algarve University, says the region is like “paradise” for these insects of the order Odonata.
In a bid to attract insect enthusiasts to the Algarve, he has created the route of the dragonflies and damselflies (Rota das Libélulas e Libelinhas) and recently launched a guide to dragonflies and damselflies (Guia de Libélulas e Libelinhas). Another interesting fact stated by Nuno Loureiro is that the Benémola valley, described by biologists as a nature sanctuary, is home to a rare species of dragonfly, the Orange-spotted Emerald (Oxygastra curtisii), which is protected under the EU Habitats directive. It has become regionally extinct in the Netherlands and the UK, but can be observed in the Benémola river stream.
A workshop on finding, observing and identifying dragonflies and damselflies is taking place this weekend in Querença, with theory sessions at the auditorium of the Fundação Manuel Viegas Guerreiro and field trips to Benémola, Mercês and Algibre river streams and Filipe Fountain.