Broad-bodied Chaser

Libellula depressa

About

The broad-bodied chaser is a medium-sized, broad-bodied dragonfly which is on the wing from the end of May to August. It is a common dragonfly of ponds and small lakes. It regularly returns to the same perch after swift flights out across the water looking for insects. Mating occurs on the wing, often taking less than a minute, after which the female will find a suitable spot to lay her eggs where she hovers over the water, dipping tip of her abdomen in and dropping her eggs on to vegetation below the surface.

How to identify

The broad, flattened body of the broad-bodied chaser is distinctive and makes this dragonfly appear 'fat'. The male has a powder-blue body with yellow spots along the sides and a dark thorax; the female is greeny-brown. There are several medium-sized, pale blue dragonflies that can be confused. This species can be distinguished by the combination of its broad, blue body and chocolate-brown eyes.

Where to find it

Southern and central England and South Wales.

Habitats

When to find it

  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August

How can people help

Human activity, including the drainage of land for agriculture and the loss of ponds through development, has resulted in the disappearance of many wetlands. The Wildlife Trusts are working closely with planners, developers and farmers to ensure our wetlands are protected. You can help too: encourage dragonflies and damselflies into your garden by having a wildlife-friendly pond. In partnership with the RHS, The Wildlife Trusts' Wild About Gardens initiative can help you plan your wildlife garden with plenty of facts and tips to get you started.

Species information

Common name
Broad-bodied Chaser
Latin name
Libellula depressa
Category
Invertebrates
Dragonflies and damselflies
Statistics
Length: 3.9-4.8cm
Conservation status
Common.