All featured images were taken by and remain the property of Chris Brooks

The narrative was kindly written
 and supplied by
Mr Ken Crick

Four Spotted Chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata)

A Species Narrative by Ken Crick

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Welcome to my new style narrative, the content of which has been kindly written and supplied by Ken Crick. The narrative is intended to give an insight into the life cycle and characteristics of the featured species.

Size: - Approximate Length 43mm - Wing Span 76mm.
 
Male: - (See above) The males distinctive wing spots that give this species its vernacular name are diagnostic. Generally brown hue throughout darkening to black towards the anus. The leading wings have a very light brown area adjacent to the thorax, while the trailing wing is dark brown towards the root.
 
Female: - (See below) The female is in almost all aspects similar to the male. Close observation of the anal appendages enables sex discrimination. The male appendages touch before turning outwards, where as the females are widely spaced at the root and are either parallel or slightly inward pointing.

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Status: - Wide ranging through out the UK & Ireland.

Habitat: - Found on a wide range of mainly still water bodies including ponds, lakes, ditches, dykes, canals and bog pools.

Flight period: - Mid May to mid August.

General: - Though both sexes are almost identical a second colour form (praenubila) exists and is not uncommon. The variation occurs in the wing, the diagnostic spots towards the wing tips, appearing to have been printed with an ink that has bled across the normally transparent wing.

Males are very territorial patrolling the waters edge or perching on a favoured high point. They give the appearance of being frantically aggressive. Copulation takes place on the wing and lasts less than 20 seconds.

Females’ egg-lay alone but often the male partner will remain close by to ward off intruders. Eggs are deposited while in flight the abdomen flicking energetically so that the eggs either fall a short distance or are washed off by direct contact with the water and sink onto submerged vegetation just below the water surface.

The narrative was kindly written and supplied by Ken Crick

All the features images were taken by and remain the property of Chris Brooks

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