Golden-ringed Dragonfly

Cordulegaster boltonii

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Length: male-74mm, female-84mm

Flight period: May to September (occasionally in October)

A striking, black insect with yellow rings along the length of the abdomen. The female is the UKs longest dragonfly because of her long ovipositor. The bright green eyes meet only at a point on the top of the head.

Male: has a waisted appearance around S2-3 and a slight club shape to the abdomen.

Female: more parallel sided and has a very long ovipositor.


Breeds in acidic rivers and streams of all sizes. May be found away from its breeding habitat over heathland.

Status & Distribution

Common. A riverine species of southern England, Wales, Lake District and western Scotland.

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Similar species

The only other UK species with black and yellow colouration is the Common Club-tail but the Golden-ringed is much larger.