Description

A medium sized dragonfly that has a synchronised emergence towards the end of May.

Male: blue and black coloration and blue eyes.

Female and immatures: orange-brown colouration with black markings.

Where to See

Latin NameLibellula fulva
Habitat

A species of lowland river floodplains that usually inhabits slow-flowing, meandering rivers and large dykes. Occasionally occurs in mature gravel pits and nearby ponds also support populations. Inhabited sites characteristically have good water quality, which supports submerged and floating plants as well as prolific stands of emergent vegetation. Ovipositing females require areas of slow flowing open water, and the adults require some shrub or tree shelter.

 

Threats

The main threats to this species come from the inappropriate river management, river improvement schemes, pollution, eutrophication, over-shading, changing water levels and excessive boat traffic.

Status & Distribution

Scarce in Britain and is consequently listed under category 3 (scarce) in the British Red Data Book on Insects.
The Scarce Chaser is restricted to 6 main localities in Norfolk/Suffolk, Sussex, Wiltshire/Somerset, Cambridgeshire, Kent and Dorset/Hampshire. Populations appear to be stable and there is evidence that suggests that it may be expanding its range.

Similar Species

The male could be confused with Black-tailed Skimmer or Keeled Skimmer. The blue eyes help to distinguish it.

Management

General management principles include maintaining inhabited sites and the adjacent landscape, controlling water quality, controlling boating activity, and undertaking monitoring and research. There are also best practice guidelines for managing inhabited sites, particularly regarding dredging, management of aquatic vegetation, and scrub control.

Management Fact File/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/libellula-fulva.pdf
Species GroupDragonflies
Identification Notes
  • Length: 40-49mm
  • Dark wing bases and often black wing tips.
  • Male: blue and black coloration and blue eyes.
  • Female and immatures: orange-brown colouration with black markings.

 

Flight PeriodScarce Chaser
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