This is undoubtedly one of the UK's most stunning and largest species of dragonfly. It may appear from early to mid June & can be seen through to early September. It is a species that is found on the streams of both heathland and moorland. It's widely distributed in most the United Kingdom but is absent from large parts of East Anglia and the Midlands.
The abdomen and the thorax of both the male and female are predominently black with vivid golden to yellow rings, set at regular intervals and is from where it gets its very apt name. Both sexes exhibit green eyes when fully mature. The female is slightly larger and has a long ovipositor on the abdomen's tip, which is used for egg laying.
The males are very fond of basking in the sunshine on low lying vegetation, adjacent to streams in which they breed.
A suitable stream can support a healthy population of Golden Ringed Dragonflies. The adult males can command a territory every ten or twenty metres, over which they randomly patrol. So frequent in flight clashes between the males are therefore inevitable and can be both noisy and spectacular at close quarters.