Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa)
Species
Male Broad-bodied Chaser. Taken at Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon on May 24th 2009. Approx 3x lifesize.
Male. Taken at Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon on May 24th 2009.
(1/200th sec at f11. Approx 1.75x life size. Click image for larger version.)
Male Broad-bodied Chaser. Taken at Bernwood Forest, Bucks on July 13th 2013. Approx 3x lifesize.
Male. Taken at Bernwood Forest, Bucks on July 13th 2013.
(1/320th sec at f13. Approx 1.75x life size. Click image for larger version.)
Female Broad-bodied Chaser. Taken at Bucknell Wood, Northants, on May 28th 2016. Approx 3x lifesize.
Female. Taken at Bucknell Wood, Northants, on May 28th 2016.
(1/200th sec at f14. Approx 1.75x life size. Click image for larger version.)
Female Broad-bodied Chaser. Taken at Kelling Heath, Norfolk on June 26th 2012. Approx 3x lifesize.
Female. Taken at Kelling Heath, Norfolk on June 26th 2012.
(1/125th sec at f11. Approx 1.75x life size. Click image for larger version.)

© David Hastings

Description

Wing span: 64 - 76 mm; Body length: 39 - 48 mm
 
This species has a very broad, flattened abdomen, which makes the insect appear fat. Both sexes have pale blue, thin ante-humeral stripes and brown eyes. The wing bases and wing spots are very dark brown. Males quickly develop a blue pruinescence on the abdomen with yellow spots along the segment sides. Females are a golden brown on the abdomen, again with yellow spots at the margins. Sometimes old females can develop limited pruinosity, but it is not as extensive as that in the male.
 
It is found in England and Wales.
 
Its prefered habitat is a wide range of mostly stagnant waters, especially those which are small, shallow, sunny and bare. It is usually quick to colonise new ponds.
 
Eggs are laid in flight. They hatch after about three weeks and the larvae live in bottom sediment. Nymphs take between one and three years to mature into adults. The flight period is from May to August.
 
Males are aggressively territorial, taking up positions on bankside vegetation, from where they launch missions to chase intruders or intercept females.
 
Fairly common in southern Britain.
 

Sightings

23-Jul-2016:Bernwood Forest, Bucks(1)
11-Jul-2016:Bernwood Forest, Bucks(1m,1f)
26-Jun-2016:Bernwood Forest, Bucks(2m,1f)
05-Jun-2016:Otmoor, Oxon(1)
28-May-2016:Bucknell Wood, Northants(1m,1f)

04-Jul-2015:Otmoor, Oxon(1)
03-Jul-2015:Bernwood Forest, Bucks(2)
19-Jun-2015:Dunkery Hill, Somerset(1)
15-Jun-2015:Collard Hill, Somerset(1)
04-Jun-2015:University Parks, Oxford, Oxon(1)

03-Aug-2014:Otmoor, Oxon(1)
06-Jul-2014:Bernwood Forest, Bucks(1m,1f)
24-Jun-2014:nr Novo Hodzhovo, Bulgaria
23-Jun-2014:Borino, Bulgaria
22-Jun-2014:Roadside, Bulgaria
19-Jun-2014:Momchilgrad, Bulgaria
14-Jun-2014:Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon(1)
17-May-2014:Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon(1)
12-May-2014:University Parks, Oxford, Oxon(1)

13-Jul-2013:Bernwood Forest, Bucks(2m,3f)
30-Jun-2013:Bernwood Forest, Bucks(3m,2f)
09-Jun-2013:Bentley Wood, Wilts(1m,3f)