Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa)

/ / Terrestrial Inverts

Description

Libellula depressa males are often confused with Orthetrum cancellatum, however the latter has a narrower abdomen.  Immature males and females may also be confused with L. quadrimaculata (1).  Asides from this L. depressa is easy to recognize from the broad flattened abdomen shape and from four large dark areas at the wing bases.  Its total length is between 39 and 48 mm (2).  The males have a pale blue abdomen and two broad whitish stripes at the front of the thorax whilst the females and immature males are yellowish brown with the same kind of stripes as mature males (2).

Life Cycle

The flight season is from late April to mid September, yet they are most abundant in May and June (2).

Behaviour

The males make fast dashes, often controlling an entire pool by fiercely chasing off competition.  As a species they are strong flyers (2).

Habitat

They are mostly found in standing waters, favoring small, shallow, sunny and bare pools or quarry lakes (2).

Distribution

They are found across most of Europe, extending to central Asia (2).

References

Description written by Aino Helakallio (2009)

(1)   Habitas (2000) Libellula depressa [online] Available:
http://www.habitas.org.uk/dragonflyireland/5637.htm [date accessed: 13/05/2009]

(2)   Dijkstra. K. (2006) Field guide to Dragonflies of Britain and Europe, British Wildlife Publishing, Gillingham