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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!

30 August, 2010

Golden Ringed Dragonfly (Cordulegaster boltonii)

This dramatic looking insect is the longest, though not the biggest, of our native dragonflies. It has strong, purposeful flight and is not easily deflected from its route as it hawks up and down its preferred track.

My reference book says this is a species of the west and north preferring flowing, well oxygenated, acidic water. Here in Dorset I have seen it in a range of habitat but it does seem to be more catholic in its taste and I have seen it quite regularly on heathland without fast flowing water anywhere nearby.

This particular specimen is a male that has not long hatched. You may notice the slightly 'wavy' body as it gradually expands from the compressed environment of what was its larval form.

This is a very distinctive species and one that cannot really be mistaken for anything else. At it says on the label, it is golden-ringed!