Description male female larva Irish distribution

Libellula quadrimaculata

Libellula quadrimaculata Linnaeus, 1758


Common name: Four-spotted Chaser

Preferred environment: prefers small oligotrophic and mesotrophic pools and lakes, often with little open water, but also large lakes and brackish sites.

Flight period: April to early September. Mid May to mid August in Ireland

Adult habitat and habits: males are highly territorial and aggressive, Defend the airspace around waterside perch from which they feed, chase rival males or attempt to mate with passing females. Mating is brief in mid-air.

Oviposition site and behaviour: females oviposit alone with male in attendance, releasing eggs by dipping abdomen on water surface over patches of aquatic plants

Larval habitat and habits: eggs hatch after c1 month. Larvae live amongst plant debris and take 2 years to develop.

Emergence behaviour: occurs in early morning on emergent and marginal vegetation.

Range: a Holarctic species. Throughout Europe except Mediterranean fringe and islands and mountainous areas of Scandinavia, Asia to Japan and N. America.

Determination of adults: species is keyed in Askew (1988); both sexes are illustrated in colour in Brooks and Askew (1988).

Determination of larvae: keys to mature larvae in Askew (1988) and Brooks (1997).


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


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