The Broad-bodied Chaser, Libellula depressa, is one of the most common dragonflies in Europe and central Asia. It is very distinctive with a very broad flattened abdomen.
The male and female have a broad, flattened abdomen which is brown with yellow patches down the sides. In the male the abdomen develops a blue pruinosity which covers the brown colour. (Pruinose means having a very fine powder on a surface)
Both fore and hind wings have a dark patch at the base. L. depressa is very distinctive and should not be confused with any other dragonflies in the region.
L. depressa is seen near still-water lakes and ponds, feeding on many types of small insects. They occur in both bare and sunny locations, where it is often the first dragonfly to colonise new habitats such as newly created ponds, and well vegetated ponds. L. depressa are often seen away from water as the adults are very mobile and undergo a period of maturation away from water after emergence. The adults are also migratory.
The flight period is from April to September but are mostly seen in May and June. Their flight is very fast as they dart and dive above the water.
The species is widespread and common throughout southern England and Wales. There is a distribution map available at the British Dragonfly Society site.
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