Dragonflies are generally much larger and sturdier than damselflies. They have broader and thicker abdomens and have much larger eyes. When at rest dragonflies perch with their wings spread in a "crucifix" position.
Question: - Does the dragonfly appear to be a sturdy species with a wide / broad flat abdomen? Does it have dark patches at the wing bases? If so it is likely to be one of the Chasers.
Broad Bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa)
Four Spotted Chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata)
Scarce Chaser (Libellula fulva)
Question: - Is the dragonfly quite small with an active habit? Does it have a thinner abdomen? Does it perch with its wings pushed forwards at 45 degrees to its body? If so it is likely to be one of the Darters.
Black Darter (Sympetrum danae)
Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum)
Ruddy Darter (Sympetrum sanguineum)
Question: - The dragonfly is not a Darter. Is it slightly larger but still perches with its wings pushed forwards at 45 degrees? Does the male have blue abdomen? If so it is likely to be one of the Skimmers.
Black Tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum)
Keeled Skimmer (Orthetrum coerulescens)
Question: - Is the dragonfly large in size? Does it have a long abdomen? Are the wings held rigidly in a crucifix position? If so it could be one of the following: -
Golden Ringed Dragonfly (Cordulegaster boltonii)
Brown Hawker (Aeshna grandis)
Southern Hawker (Aeshna cyanea)
Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta)
Emperor Dragonfly (Anax imperator)
Question: - Does the dragonfly have a metallic green body? Is it of a medium size? If so its likely to be one of the Emerald family.
Downy Emerald (Cordulia aenea)
Brilliant Emerald (Somatochlora metallica)
Question: - Is the dragonfly yellow and black and have a pronounced club like tail? If so it is likely to be the Club Tailed Dragonfly
Club Tailed Dragonfly (Gomphus vulgatissimus)