118. Keeled Skimmer – Orthetrum coerulescens – UK – European Dragonfly photo
The Keeled Skimmer ( Orthetrum coerulescens ) is one of nine members of the family to be found within Britain and Europe. It is a widespread species. They can be difficult to identify, particularly the males, with immatures being radically different in colour and marking.
KEY I/D FEATURES
Adult males have a clean, slender, powder blue abdomen which is tapered with a thin raised dorsal line. The thorax is brown with dull yellow antehumeral stripes and it is unmarked on the sides. The face is brown, never blue, and the pterostigma are large and yellow. Those in the south of the region can become totally pruinose, as in the sub species O.c.anceps shown below which was photographed in Turkey. Immature males are very different and start with a yellow abdomen which has extensive dark markings down the sides.
Females have a less tapered abdomen which is yellow. Again there is a thin dorsal line with narrow bars between the segments and a pair of dots or shorter cross line in front of each bar.