Four-spotted chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata)

loading
Four-spotted chaser dragonfly
loading
Loading more images and videos...

Four-spotted chaser fact file

Four-spotted chaser description

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumArthropoda
ClassInsecta
OrderOdonata
FamilyLibellulidae
GenusLibellula

The four-spotted chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata) gets its name form the four dark spots present at the midpoint of the front of each of its four wings. Unusually for this family, males and females are much alike in appearance; the basic colouration is dark honey-brown, with a paler scalloped edge to both sides of the abdomen. The tip of the abdomen is black. Some members of the family Libellula tend to have fatter abdomens than other Odonata species. Several other male species in the family have noticeably blue upper sides to the abdomen, especially the broad-bodied chaser Libellula depressa.

French
Libellule Quadrimaculée.
Size
Wingspan: 75 mm
Average body length: 43 mm
Top

Four-spotted chaser biology

Male four-spotted chasers are active insects and spend long periods of time hawking over the water and surrounding vegetation, both hunting for other insects and marking out their territories. They appear from late May until August, and must mate and reproduce during this short season. Mating takes place on the wing and the females then hover over the water surface, dropping her eggs which sink down to adhere to submerged vegetation.

As with other Odonata species, the larvae of the four-spotted chaser live for about two years amongst the vegetation and muddy debris at the bottom of their pond. They are voracious predators of other water creatures. When they have grown to a large enough size they climb up the stems of emergent vegetation before completing their transformation into adults.

Top

Four-spotted chaser range

Four-spotted chasers are found throughout the British Isles, including the Scottish Islands and Ireland. Their range covers much of Europe and Northern Asia and extends into North America.

You can view distribution information for this species at the National Biodiversity Network Gateway.
Top

Four-spotted chaser habitat

The four-spotted chaser can usually be found around most water bodies, including pools, rivers and upland lakes and lochs.

Top

Four-spotted chaser status

The four-spotted chaser is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Least Concern

Top

Four-spotted chaser threats

The four-spotted chaser appears to be common and widespread throughout the UK and, provided that clean water and marginal vegetation are available, there appear to be no special threats to its survival.

Top

Four-spotted chaser conservation

There are currently no conservation projects for the four-spotted chaser in the UK.

There may be further information about this species available via the National Biodiversity Network Gateway.
View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.
Top

Find out more

For more on British dragonflies:

Top

Authentication

Information supplied by English Nature.

http://www.english-nature.org.uk

Top

Glossary

Abdomen
In arthropods (crustaceans, insects and arachnids) the abdomen is the hind region of the body, which is usually segmented to a degree (but not visibly in most spiders). In crustacea (e.g. crabs) some of the limbs attach to the abdomen; in insects the limbs are attached to the thorax (the part of the body nearest to the head) and not the abdomen. In vertebrates the abdomen is the part of the body that contains the internal organs (except the heart and lungs).
Larvae
Stage in an animal’s lifecycle after it hatches from the egg. Larvae are typically very different in appearance to adults; they are able to feed and move around but usually are unable to reproduce.
Territory
An area occupied and defended by an animal, a pair of animals or a colony.
Top

References

  1. IUCN Red List (April, 2011)
    http://www.iucnredlist.org/
X
Close

Image credit

Four-spotted chaser dragonfly  
Four-spotted chaser dragonfly

© Ogun Caglayan Turkay

Ogun Caglayan Turkay
ogunturkay@gmail.com
http://www.ogunturkay.com

X
Close

Link to this photo

ARKive species - Four-spotted chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata) Embed this ARKive thumbnail link ("portlet") by copying and pasting the code below.

Terms of Use - The displayed portlet may be used as a link from your website to ARKive's online content for private, scientific, conservation or educational purposes only. It may NOT be used within Apps.

Read more about

X
Close

MyARKive

MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.

Play the Team WILD game:

Team WILD, an elite squadron of science superheroes, needs your help! Your mission: protect and conserve the planet’s species and habitats from destruction.

Conservation in Action

Which species are on the road to recovery? Find out now »

This species is featured in:

This species is featured in the Wisconsin's Northwoods eco-region

Help us share the wonders of the natural world. Donate today!

Blog