113. Broad-bodied Chaser – Libellula depressa – UK – European Dragonfly photo
The Broad-bodied Chaser ( Libellula depressa ) is very attractive and brings back a nostalgic memory . When I started as Cheshire County Recorder I can remember doubting a local record from a newly created habitat along a disused railway line. On visiting the site there were large numbers of both sexes perched on the bramble banks basking in the last of the day’s sun. Apologies were duly given!
The small pond shown here was recently made when the photo was taken and this species which is known to be one of the first to colonise newly created still waters soon bred even though the site is at a relatively high elevation on the edge of the Pennine Hills.
KEY I/D FEATURES :
Both sexes have very broad, flat abdomens so giving rise to their English name. There are large dark brown triangular patches on the hind wings with dark bars at the base of the forewings. The thorax is brown with two wide antehumeral stripes and there are yellow markings along the sides of Segments 3-8. Both of these features can disappear with age however.
Males have pale blue abdomens with yellow markings on the side and the upper appendages are splayed.
Females and young males are yellowish brown but this colour deepens to a dull brown on the female and becomes blue on the adult male. The seventh and eight photos show ageing females with the oldest even taking on blue pruinescence. The ninth photo conveniently has a teneral male perched higher up the same stem as a female for comparison of their similar colouring.