Odonata (Anisoptera) - Dragonflies

Dragonflies are larger than damselflies, and rest with wings outstretched. Larvae are aquatic predators.

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Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis (Linnaeus, 1758)

Aeshna grandis
Cambridge, garden, 8th July 2001.


Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta Latreille, 1805

Aeshna mixta Aeshna mixta


Black-tailed skimmer Orthetrum cancellatum (Linnaeus, 1758)

Orthetrum cancellatum
  • Cambridge Science Park TL464618; 26 Jun 2002
  • From this angle it is hard to see whether the abdomen is flattened as in Libellula depressa. However that species has blue on the abdomen almost to the tip, and dark wing roots which would be visible from here.


Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum (Müller, 1764)

Sympetrum sanguineum

Male. Cambridge - Barnwell East Nature Reserve TL479583; 29 July 2014.

Male Ruddy Darters have abdomen uniform reddish with extensive black markings on the lower surface. Legs are entirely black. Compared to Common Darters there is more of a bulge towards the tail, and the insect is small even by Darter standards.


Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum (Charpentier, 1840)

Sympetrum striolatum Sympetrum striolatum

Male (l): 3 Sept 2002. Female (r): 9 Sept 2000.

Male Common Darters have pale areas on the abdomen. Legs have pale longitudinal bands (this distinction also applies to females).


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