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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!

22 June, 2010

Keeled Skimmer (Orthetrum coerulescens)

The Keeled Skimmer is a specialist of the heathland bog, especially areas where Sphagnum mosses thrive in wetter areas. As a result the heathland areas of Dorset are one of its strongholds in this country.

Easily dismissed at first sight as a Broad-bodied Chaser because of its bright blue body (the male that is) closer examination, if it settles, will show a narrower body tapering to a point at the tail. It also lacks the yellow side markings on the main body too.

The Keeled Skimmer tends to fly low over the water of its chosen pond, skimming over it in fact. It has a rapid and unpredictable flight pattern, usually near the edge of the water, where the pond side vegetation grows. The males settle on a favoured perch to monitor activity in their patch but show 'interest' in intruders rather than out right confrontation like the Broad-bodied Chaser.

The females are green and have a thin, less tapered body.