Broad-bodied Chaser Dragonflies

14 June 2013

One of the best things about having a pond in your garden is the wildlife it attracts. I tend to see two of the larger dragonflies: the Southern Hawker and the Broad-bodied Chaser, and the first sighting of either in the year is a really “whoopee!” moment.

This female Broad-bodied Chaser appeared (or I first saw her) on 31 May, which fits in with their peak flight period of May to July – they live up to their name, and are broad in the body, and thus easy to identify; they are also common in England, so you are quite likely to see one. She was flying around the flower bed, and obligingly stopped for some time on a flower stalk for me to photograph her.

Female Broad-bodied Chaser dragonfly - olive coloured

Female Broad-bodied Chaser dragonfly

The male turned up on 6 June. He stuck to the area around the pond, exhibiting typical male dragonfly behaviour in patrolling round and round, perching from time to time in various places; he didn’t settle for long, so he was more of a challenge to photograph.

Male Broad-bodied Chaser Dragonfly - pale blue

Male Broad-bodied Chaser Dragonfly

Twice since then, we have seen a male and female Broad-bodied Chaser coupled together. It’s so amazing that they can fly while copulating, and at first glance you wonder what this odd creature flying round you is. Hopefully, the female will lay eggs in the pond and we’ll have more generations of this gorgeous dragonfly to come.

If you want to know more about dragonflies in Dorset, have a look at the Dorset Dragonfly Group website.

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