Description

Slim dragonfly with a pronounced dorsal keel (dark line down the middle of the back).

Male: blue body and blue-grey eyes.

Female: ochre abdomen and brown eyes.

 

 

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Latin NameOrthetrum coerulescens
Habitat

Pools and streams in wet heathland sites are favoured.

May be found resting low in heather at such sites.

Threats
  • Climate change: erratic rainfall.
  • Pollution
  • Abstraction and drainage.
Status & Distribution

Locally common. Patchy distribution, mainly western Britain and Ireland.

Similar Species

May be confused with Black-tailed Skimmer and Scarce Chaser. The Keeled Skimmer can be distinguished by its:

  • paler wings spots.
  • yellow costa (leading wing vein).
  • pale antehumeral stripes on the back of the thorax.
  • black keel.
Species GroupDragonflies
Identification Notes
  • Length: 40-44mm
  • Slim abdomen with a pronounced dorsal keel (dark line down the middle of the back)..
  • Yellow costa (leading wing vein).
  • Yellow or brown pterostigma (wing spots).
  • Pale ante-humeral stripes on the back of the thorax.
  • Male: blue body and blue-grey eyes.
  • Female: ochre abdomen and brown eyes.
  • Immature adults: similar to females. Often have yellow tinge to the wings.
  • At rest, the wings are often held forward.
Flight PeriodKeeled Skimmer
Larval Information

Skimmers and Chasers have a squat, spider-like body-shape, a square back to the head and small eyes.

Smaller than other Chasers and Skimmers: 17-23mm

Similar size to Darters but lacks their lateral abdominal spines and has smaller eyes.