Broad-bodied Chaser

©Mike Snelle

Broad-bodied Chaser

Scientific name: Libellula depressa
The Broad-bodied Chaser is a common dragonfly that can be seen in summer around ponds and lakes, and even in gardens. It lives up to its name: its flattened body gives it a fat, broad look.

Species information

Statistics

Length: 3.9-4.8cm

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

May to August

About

The Broad-bodied Chaser is a medium-sized, broad-bodied dragonfly that is on the wing from May to July, and occasionally into August. It is a common dragonfly of ponds and small lakes. It regularly returns to the same perch after swift flights out across the water looking for insects. Mating occurs on the wing, often taking less than a minute, after which the female will find a suitable spot to lay her eggs; she hovers over the water, dipping the tip of her abdomen in and dropping her eggs on to vegetation below the surface.

How to identify

The broad, flattened body of the Broad-bodied Chaser is distinctive and makes this dragonfly appear 'fat'. The male has a powder-blue body with yellow spots along the sides and a dark thorax; the female is greeny-brown. There are several medium-sized, pale blue dragonflies that can be confused. This species can be distinguished by the combination of its broad, blue body and chocolate-brown eyes.

Distribution

Found in Southern and Central England, and South Wales.

Did you know?

The Broad-bodied chaser may be the first dragonfly to colonise new ponds, including garden ponds.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many wetland nature reserves for the benefit of the wildlife they support. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife news, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities, and will be helping local wildlife along the way. Encourage dragonflies and damselflies into your garden by having a wildlife-friendly pond. To find out more about gardening for wildlife, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.