The broad, flat abdomen of both sexes of the Broad-bodied Chaser (Ladona depressa, known until recently as Libellula depressa) is distinctive. The adult male's abdomen is pale blue and he has large dark areas at the wing bases. In the hand, two large spines can be seen on the underside of the first abdominal segment of the male, just in front of the secondary genitalia, that are not present in any other European dragonfly. These dragonflies are strong fliers and are often the first dragonflies to colonize a newly created habitat. They occur in a wide range of (mostly) stagnant water habitats, especially ones that are small, shallow, sunny, and bare, such as drinking pools for cattle or quarry lakes. Females may sometimes oviposit (deposit their eggs) in very unnatural situations such as in the mud under lawn sprinklers. They rarely breed in large water bodies. The flight season runs from April to September, but abundance is generally highest in May and June. Males make fast, direct dashes from a conspicuous perch, often controlling an entire pool by driving away other males.
The Broad-bodied Chaser is among the most common dragonflies across most of Europe to 60° N (although not in Ireland, Scotland, or North Africa and scarce in southern Scandinavia). Its range extends through the Middle East and into western and central Asia. These dragonflies can be found far from water.
(Askew 2004; Dijkstra 2006)
- Askew, R.R. 2004. The Dragonflies of Europe (2nd edition). Harley Books, Essex, England.
- Dijkstra, K.-D. B. 2006. Field Guide to the Dragonflies of Britain and Europe. British Wildlife Publishing, Dorset, UK.
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