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.

Where to See

Latin NameCordulegaster boltonii

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.

Similar Species

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

Species GroupDragonflies
Identification Notes
  • A large impressive dragonfly with distinctive yellow and black rings. The female is the longest British species. The green eyes meet together at a point.
  • Breeds in acidic running waters and often seen patrolling upland and heathland streams.
  • Length Male: 74mm
  • Length Female : 84mm
  • May – September 

Similar Species