Dragonfly species in Monmouthshire: Broad-bodied Chaser

Distribution map of Broad-bodied Chaser in Monmouthshire, March 2024
Distribution map of Broad-bodied Chaser in Monmouthshire, March 2024, produced using the DMAP for Windows software written by Alan Morton, www.dmap.co.uk

Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa) is the more widespread of the two chaser species found in the county; it can be expected to occur at any standing water habitat, even small garden ponds.

The oldest record in our data set is from Shirenewton, near Chepstow, on 27 June 1971 (observer P. C. Webb).

Current distribution in the county: what we know

There are many post-2019 records across the eastern Gwent Levels, around Newport, in Torfaen, through the western valleys, and the northwest uplands, around Abergavenny and Monmouth, through the Usk and Wye valleys, and around the Trelleck ridge in the east of the county.

Current distribution in the county: what we don’t know

There are large gaps in the mapped distribution, however. As with many species, there are large areas in the north, centre and east of the county with no records at all, or with only older records. This is almost certainly because no-one has visited sites in these areas recently to record dragonflies, rather than because the species is not present: there is much suitable habitat there.

There are very few recent records from the western part of the Levels, and there are many parts of the eastern Levels where the species was recorded in the past but not recently: this pattern is almost certainly not the true position and with more widespread recording, it is likely that the species will still be found widely across the Levels.

Distribution elsewhere

Broad-bodied Chaser is found throughout Wales, though is scarce or absent in some mountainous areas in the north. It is also a widespread insect in England, although absent from much of the Pennines, and scarce in the other upland areas in the north. In Scotland it is rare, being found only in scattered locations in southern areas. Elsewhere in Europe, it is found from Iberia east to Russia, north to southern Scandinavia and southern Finland, and south to Italy and Greece. It is also found in Turkey and Central Asia.