Broad-bodied chaser Libellula depressa


Best time to see: mid May to early Aug

Key facts

A bulky dragonfly often seen over shallow, sunny ponds

Habitat: a wide variety of standing-water sites, favouring small, open ponds and ditches

Widespread and common throughout southern England and Wales; scarcer in the Midlands

Recognition

Broad flattened abdomen – pale blue in males, yellowish brown in females – and dark wing bases

Perches for long periods on vegetation, interspersed with bouts of rapid, direct flight

Flies from mid May to early August, feeding on almost any flying insect

Lifecycle

Females lay groups of eggs in jelly into the water and they stick to submerged plants, hatching after 2–3 weeks

Larvae live in shallow water, partially buried in silt, developing in 1–3 years and surviving even in dried-up pools

Larvae emerge during early morning in spring, climbing bankside plants

  • Main photo
  • female
  • emerging

Photo © Laurie Forsyth

Photo © Tony Gunton

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