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

The narrative was kindly written
 and supplied by
Mr Ken Crick

Golden Ringed Dragonfly (Cordulegaster boltonii)

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 74m - Wing Span 100mm
 
Male: - A large dragonfly (see above) with a pale yellow face, tear shaped green eyes that meet to make point contact. The thorax and abdomen are black with yellow banding. Abdominal segment 3 is slightly “waisted” and segments 7 and 8 laterally flattened giving a club like appearance.
 
Female: - The female is some what larger than the male, with a more robust abdomen. Similar colouring to the male, the black areas can appear less intense. The large ovipositor (tube for laying eggs) is distinctive and obvious.

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Status: - Widespread and common on the western side of Scotland, most of Wales and from the Isle of Wight westwards, elsewhere locally restricted.

Habitat: - Fast flowing peaty runnels to small rivers where slower flow rates allow the build up of silt, small stones or fine detritus suitable for the sedentary larva to bury itself.

Flight period: - Early June to the end of August.

General: - The waters it is associated with are normally acidic, typically less than one or two meters wide and often deeply cut into the surrounding terrain. Males can be seen cruising slowly up and down suitable breeding habitat and are not easily disturbed.

When they meet another male they usually turn away but occasionally a really aggressive attack ensues. Both sexes can be found hunting for food well away from breeding sites usually over heathland. They have been seen in woodland and over still water.

Copulation takes place either in a tree or among the heather and ferns. Egg-laying females hover vertically above suitable shallows and, reminiscent of a road repairers pneumatic dill, drives her ovipositor into the substrate, undisturbed she can keep this up for up to 15 minutes.

The ovipositor of older females is often seen to have suffered significant erosion.

This Narrative was kindly written and supplied by Ken Crick

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

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