Four-spotted chaser Libellula quadrimaculata

Best time to see: late May to mid Aug

Key facts

A brownish chaser dragonfly with dark patches and spots on the wings

Habitat: a wide range, including bogs, fens, canals, dykes, slow-flowing streams and brackish water

Widespread across Britain, except north-east England, and most of Europe


Narrow, tapering dark abdomen with yellow spots at the sides and a black tip

Perches on emergent plants around pools, flying out rapidly and often returning to the same perch

Flies from late May to mid-August, feeding on almost any flying insect that it can catch


Females lay groups of eggs covered with jelly into the water that stick to submerged plants and hatch in about a month

Larvae live among well-rotted plant remains for two years

They climb emergent plants in early morning in late May and June and split their skins to emerge as adults

© Tony Gunton