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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

15 June, 2010

Four-spotted Chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata)

One of the more common dragonflies of heathland ponds and bogs at the moment is the splendid Four-spotted Chaser.

It gets its name from the four black spots, one on each of the four wings. It is easy to mistake this insect for the female Broad-bodied Chaser so 'spotting' those markings on the wing is important.

In many dragonflies the males and females are very different but in the Four-spotted Chaser this is not so, they are very similar and I have no idea which this is although it is probably a male as it had a preferred perch from where it would launch of to deter any intruder that might enter its territory.

Flying from late May until August, you still have plenty of time to find them and, as I said above, the wet areas of the Purbeck heaths are as good a place as anywhere to see them but they can also be found on other still water ponds and lakes that have a degree of acidity and preferably fairly shallow and with extensive vegetation.