Four Spotted Chaser - Libellula quadrimaculata

Scientific Name: Libellula quadrimaculata.

English Name: Four Spotted Chaser or Four Spotted Skimmer.

French Name: La Libellule a quartre taches (='four spotted dragonfly')

5 Key Characters:
  • all 4 wings have blackish spots at the nodes (halfway between the tip and the base, on the leading edge) - unique to this species.
  • forewings have amber coloured bases.
  • very obvious black patch at the base of the hindwings.
  • general colouring yellowy brown to olivey green and black.
  • fairly large and robust.
Lookalikes: Eurasian Baskettail Epitheca bimaculata, which is rare and does not have the black spots at the wing nodes. Broad Bodied Chaser Libellula depressa, which has black bases to all four wings, does not have the node spots and male abdomens go blue when mature. Blue Chaser L. fulva does not have the node spots and males go blue when mature. Four Spotted Chasers are never really blue although they may get a rather pale dusted look.

Habitat: Still water of all sorts, especially if well vegetated - ponds, fish ponds (étangs), lakes, oxbow lakes, old gravel pits, marshes, peat bogs, ditches, even brackish pools. Sometimes in water with a slow current. Sometimes migrates in large 'convoys' for several hundred kilometres. Males are territorial and perch on dry stems at the edge of the water or scattered about the marsh, where they scout for passing females. They are agressive to other males in their territory.

Flight Period: April-May-June-July-August-September.

Status: Common and ubiquitious.

Further Information:
A photo of a male taken in the Foret de Preuilly of L. quadrimaculata f. praenubila, a form which has additional dark markings on the wings.

Photographed by Loire Valley Nature:
Photographs are numbered from left to right and top to bottom. All photos will enlarge in a new screen if you click on them. 1 - 7 female in damp pasture in the Brenne, May.

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