For this last day of National Insect Week 2016 we have one of my favourite types of insect, the dragonfly. Meet the Broad-bodied Chasers (or Libellula depressa to the scientifically minded). If we’re being politically correct, we won’t call them fat – they just happen to be a bit wider in the body than most other dragonflies. Both male and female start off a golden brown colour, but Mr B-B C soon develops a rather dapper layer of blue powdery granules (pruinescence) which matches perfectly with the yellow dots they both have along the sides of their abdomens.
I’ve seen two pairs of Broad-bodied Chasers so far this year, both around small ponds which the males regularly patrol to ensure no intrusions into their territories. I’ve also been privileged to see them mating, a rather brief in-flight encounter, and then to see the female ovipositing – dipping her lower abdomen quickly into the water while in flight, to deposit her eggs into vegetation below the water level (as shown in the photos below). If you’re in southern England or Wales, these beauties will be around till September so go check out the show.