Like other dragonfly species, the blue basker has a complex lifecycle which includes a fully aquatic larval stage (5). As larvae or ‘nymphs’, dragonflies are effective sit-and-wait predators with the fascinating feature of being able to fire out the lower portion of the mouth, known as the ‘mask’, in order to grasp passing prey (5) (6). As well as being able to walk, dragonfly larvae are able to move through the water by jet propulsion, expelling water from a specialised rectal chamber to propel themselves along (5).
The total length of time spent in the larval stage varies between dragonfly species, with some species spending a few months and others several years as a larva (5). The larva undergoes several moults before finally emerging from the water as the readily recognisable adult dragonfly (5) (6). The flying season of the adult blue basker is between December and May (2).
Reproduction in dragonflies generally involves very little courtship behaviour, and begins with the male grasping the female by the back of the head with claspers at the tip of the abdomen (5). Mating then takes place in the air, on the ground or among vegetation, with the length of the process varying greatly between species (5).
Dragonflies are skilled aerial predators, typically feeding on small insects caught on the wing (5) (6). Members of the Libellulidae family tend to hunt from perches, pursuing prey once sighted before returning to the perch to consume it (5). The blue basker tends to perch on reed tips near the water, or on grass stems, twigs or bushes when away from the water (2).