Four-spotted Chaser

Libellula quadrimaculata

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Length: 39-48mm

Flight period: May to September (occasionally late April and early October)

This rather uniformly brown dragonfly is quite active in late spring and summer. The sexes are alike with a brown abdomen becoming darker towards the rear, a brown thorax and brown eyes. The is a row of yellow spots along each side of the abdomen. The most noticeable feature is the colouring of the wings. The nodus (half-way along the leading edge of each wing) has a very dark spot, which gives the insect its name. The wing bases are also very dark and a colour form praenubila has a general darkening of the wing tips.


Found at the margins of shallow ponds and lakes which have good emergent vegetation and some open water.

Status & Distribution

Common throughout the British Isles.

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Similar species

Could possibly be confused with females of other Chaser dragonflies but the dark spots at the nodus of the wing are distinctive and diagnostic.