Four-spotted chaser Libellula quadrimaculata


Best time to see: late May to mid Aug

Key facts

A brownish chaser dragonfly with dark patches and spots on the wings

Habitat: a wide range, including bogs, fens, canals, dykes, slow-flowing streams and brackish water

Widespread across Britain, except north-east England, and most of Europe

Recognition

Narrow, tapering dark abdomen with yellow spots at the sides and a black tip

Perches on emergent plants around pools, flying out rapidly and often returning to the same perch

Flies from late May to mid-August, feeding on almost any flying insect that it can catch

Lifecycle

Females lay groups of eggs covered with jelly into the water that stick to submerged plants and hatch in about a month

Larvae live among well-rotted plant remains for two years

They climb emergent plants in early morning in late May and June and split their skins to emerge as adults

  • Main photo

Photo © Tony Gunton