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.

Where to See

Latin NameLibellula quadrimaculata

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.

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.

Species GroupDragonflies
Identification Notes
  • Wing has yellow base and diagnostic dark spots at nodes
  • Occurs at wide range of standing waters
  • May – August