The Broad-bodied Chaser – Libellula depressa, is a beautiful dragonfly that often visits new ponds.
|Libellulidae||Chasers, Skimmers, & Darters|
Attractive mid-sized dragonfly, with a short and broad, flattened, abdomen. Flight is fast and agile, low across the water.
Mature males are striking in appearance, with a distinctive powder blue pruinosed abdomen, and pale coloured antehumeral shoulder stripes on a chestnut brown thorax. Yellow spots are usually visible through the pruinosity on the lateral surface of the abdomen, especially noticeable from the side. Before becoming pruinosed, the immature male resembles the female.
The female is more yellow ochre, darkening with age and sometimes gaining some pruinosity. The yellow abdominal spots are larger in the female and very prominent. The dark tip extends further along the abdomen than in the male. The shape and colouring of the female may sometimes mean it’s mistaken for an oversized hornet.
Both male and female feature prominent chestnut brown basal wing patches, dark pterostigma, and chestnut brown eyes. At rest the wings are kept in a slightly forward and downward posture, but not as noticeably as in a Skimmer.
Overall length: 39 – 48 mm
Wings: 33 – 37 mm
The Broad-bodied Chaser or ‘BBC’ is one of our most colourful and distinctive dragonflies, and along with its very obvious wide abdomen, it is straightforward to rule out most other species.
There are a few Skimmer and Chaser species that might still be confused with the BBC.
Favours still, shallow waters, ponds and lakes that aren’t too sheltered, rarely at rivers but may be found at overflow pools close by.
Often amongst the first dragonflies to colonise new ponds.
Common throughout the county, more often found singly or in small numbers at garden and woodland ponds.
Newly excavated ponds at Marston Thrift support a number of Broad Bodied Chasers.
Visible between early May and late August, peaking in June.