Orthetrum – Skimmers
116. Black-tailed Skimmer – Orthetrum cancellatum- UK – European Dragonfly photo
The Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum coancellatum) is another species which has increased its northerly expansion in the U K into Cheshire over the past few decades. The Orthetrums can be quite difficult to identify, particularly older males, where a number of species occur in the same habitat.
The habitat photograph in Cheshire is at a long disused Lime extraction bed where the exposed waste lime on the banks provides warm resting places . Stone paths seem to be preferred resting places.
KEY I/D FEATURES :
Males undergo a substantial change of appearance between the immature and adult stages in a similar way to the Blue Chaser – Libellula fulva. Immatures have yellow bodies with paired black chevron marks down each segment. In the adult these become powder blue with yellow edging and having Segments 8-10 black. The pterostigma are black and the costa is yellow.
Females resemble immature males but are slightly darker and the abdomen becomes dull brown with age.