Black-tailed Skimmer - Orthetrum cancellatum

Photos

Black-tailed Skimmer - Orthetrum cancellatum, mostly around Felmersham NR where they are very common.

  • Black-tailed Skimmer - Orthetrum cancellatum:  A3P1996
    Female, Felmersham NR
  • Black-tailed Skimmer - Orthetrum cancellatum:  A3P1997
    Female, Felmersham NR
  • Black-tailed Skimmer - Orthetrum cancellatum:  A3P2036
    Probably an immature male, Kempston.This picture was taken some distance from any body of water; immature odonata often move well away from water until they mature, when they return to breed.
  • Black-tailed Skimmer - Orthetrum cancellatum:  A3P2249
    Male, Felmersham NR. This particular male has bred at least once, as can be seen from the scuffs visible in the blue pruinescence on the abdomen.
  • Black-tailed Skimmer - Orthetrum cancellatum:  A3P2252
    Male, Felmersham NR
  • Black-tailed Skimmer - Orthetrum cancellatum:  A3P2256
    Pair "in cop" at Felmersham NR
  • Black-tailed Skimmer - Orthetrum cancellatum:  A3P2257
    Pair "in cop" at Felmersham NR
  • Black-tailed Skimmer - Orthetrum cancellatum:  A3P2258
    Pair "in cop" at Felmersham NR
  • Black-tailed Skimmer - Orthetrum cancellatum:  A3P2260
    Male, Felmersham NR
  • Black-tailed Skimmer - Orthetrum cancellatum:  A3P2271
    Male, Felmersham NR
  • Black-tailed Skimmer - Orthetrum cancellatum: Image
    Immature male - Bromham Lake NR
  • Black-tailed Skimmer - Orthetrum cancellatum: Image
    Male female pair in tandem, Marston Thrift
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Main Features

Classification:

Odonata        
Anisoptera     True dragonflies
  Libellulidae   Chasers, Skimmers, & Darters

Mid sized dragonfly, very active fast flyer. Mature males are a striking pale blue with a black tipped abdomen, females and immature males are yellow with dark striped markings. The female darkens with age, becoming a dull brown.

Habitat

Prefers still water sites with clear banks, but also seen along rivers. Quick to visit new sites. Males can often be seen basking on light coloured rocks or pathways.

Where to see

Common at still water sites such as Felmersham NR, and also along stretches of the River Great Ouse, I've often spotted them along the Biddenham Country Walk. They can often be spotted at the boating lake in Bedford.

Visible from late May to early September