Little specific information is available on the biology of the Balkan goldenring. However, as in other Cordulegaster species, the adults are likely to be found near water, often quite low down in vegetation and with the abdomen hanging almost vertically (3). The adult Balkan goldenring feeds on small flying insects (3) and is a formidable predator, with huge eyes that give excellent vision (4).
After mating, the female Balkan goldenring lays eggs into the muddy bottom of a shallow stream. As in related species, this is likely to involve the female thrusting the ovipositor into the mud to lay the eggs while in flight (3). Unlike in some other dragonflies (4) (5), the male Balkan goldenring is unlikely to guard the female while the eggs are laid (3).
The larvae of Cordulegastridae species live buried in mud or gravel in the stream bed. Only the head, front legs and the tip of the abdomen are exposed, and from this hidden position the larva lies in wait for passing prey (3). Dragonfly larvae catch prey by shooting out the lower jaw, or ‘labium’, which is armed with hooks that impale the victim and drag it back to the mouth as the labium is retracted (4) (5).
As a dragonfly larva grows, it goes through a serious of developmental stages, or ‘instars’, before emerging from the water and moulting into the adult dragonfly. After it has emerged, the adult spends some time feeding and maturing before it breeds (4) (5). Cordulegaster species may spend as long as three or four years as a larva before developing into the adult form, but the adult may only live for a few weeks (3).