Description

Medium-sized dragonfly with a tapering abdomen.

Male: blue abdomen darkening to the rear.

Females and immature males: pale, yellowish brown with two dark stripes.

 

Where to See

Latin NameOrthetrum cancellatum
Habitat

Favours lakes, slow rivers, ponds and occasionally marshy area, that have open water and bare patches along the shore. Patrolling males frequently rest in the sun on bare ground.

Status & Distribution

Fairly common.

Southern England, parts of Wales and Ireland.

Increasing its range northwards.

Similar Species

Keeled Skimmer

  • Yellow pterostigma not dark.
  • Males don’t have dark coloration on the abdomen.
  • Females have a thin black marking down the middle of the abdomen instead of two down the sides.

Scarce Chaser

  • Black costa not yellow.
  • Males have blue eyes not green.
  • Females have a black marking down the middle of the abdomen instead of two down the sides.

 

 

Species GroupDragonflies
Identification Notes
  • Length: 44-49 mm
  • Wings have a yellow costa (leading wing vein).
  • Very dark brown or black pterostigma (wing spots).
  • Males: blue abdomen darkening to the rear with S8-10 becoming black, and dark green eyes.
  • Females and immature males: pale, yellowish brown with two bold lines running along the length of the abdomen. Females become greyish brown with age.
  • They fly swift and low, skimming the water surface. 
Flight PeriodBlack-tailed Skimmer

Similar Species

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