Description male female larva Irish distribution

Brachytron pratense

Brachytron pratense (Muller, 1764)


Common name: Hairy Dragonfly

Preferred environment: mesotrophic to eutrophic pools and small lakes and fens, also along slow flowing rivers, canals and disused flooded gravel pits. Avoids oligotrophic and highly eutrophic sites.

Flight period: late March to late July according to locality. In Ireland from early May to mid July.

Adult habitat and habits: adults males are territorial and patrol breeding sites low down amongst vegetation searching for females.

oviposition site and behaviour: females oviposit alone in dead or living plant material.

Larval habitat and habits: larvae hatch after a few weeks. Live amongst plant debris. Larval development normally takes 2 years but can occur faster in warmer conditions.

Emergence behaviour: larvae normally emerge in early morning on plant stems usually close to ground.

Range: central Europe from southern France to southern Fennoscandia, and western Asia to the Caspian Sea. In Ireland frequent in the midlands from Lough Neagh to Clare. Much less common south of Limerick and Wicklow, and in extreme north in Donegal, Derry and Antrim.

Determination of adults: species is keyed in Askew (1988) which figures male abdominal appendages. Males and females are illustrated in colour in both Askew (1988) and Brooks (1997).

Determination of larvae: larva is keyed and figured in Askew (1988) and Brooks (1997). Illustrated by photograph in Brooks (1997)


Nelson, B., Thompson, R. & Morrow, C., 2000 (May 2). [In] DragonflyIreland http://www.ulstermuseum.org.uk/dragonflyireland/


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