Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa)
Species
Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa). Male. Taken at Abingdon, Oxon., on May 18th 2018. Approx 3x lifesize.
Male. Taken at Abingdon, Oxon., on May 18th 2018.
(1/160th sec at f13. Approx 1.75x lifesize. Click image for larger version. © David Hastings)
Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa). Male. 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 lifesize. Click image for larger version. © David Hastings)
Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa). Immature male. Taken in the Velebits National Park, Croatia, on June 11th 2017. Approx 3x lifesize.
Immature male. Taken in the Velebits National Park, Croatia, on June 11th 2017.
(1/160th sec at f14. Approx 1.75x lifesize. Click image for larger version. © David Hastings)
Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa). Female. 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 lifesize. Click image for larger version. © David Hastings)
Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa). Female. 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 lifesize. 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.

The Broad-bodied Chaser 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

18-Jun-2018 : Bernwood Forest, Bucks (2m,1f)
15-Jun-2018 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (1f)
14-Jun-2018 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (1f)
10-Jun-2018 : Barnwell Country Park, Northants (2)
08-Jun-2018 : Barnwell Country Park, Northants (1)
03-Jun-2018 : Bentley Wood, Wilts (1f)
18-May-2018 : Barton Fields, Abingdon, Oxon (2m,1f)

08-Jul-2017 : Bayworth, Oxon (1m,1f)
15-Jun-2017 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (1f)
14-Jun-2017 : Daneway Banks, Gloucs (1m,1f)
11-Jun-2017 : Velebits National Park, Croatia
03-Jun-2017 : Barton Fields, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
27-May-2017 : Bucknell Wood, Northants (3)

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)