Orthetrum cancellatum Libellulidae Black-tailed Skimmer

Biology male female Irish distribution

Orthetrum cancellatum

Uncommon, confined to base-rich loughs in central and western Ireland. The flight period extends from late May to August. The Black-tailed Skimmer is especially characteristic of the eastern Burren and Shannon Loughs and the limestone lakes of Galway and Sligo. Adults prefer to perch on bare ground and rocks. In Britain this species has increased with creation of flooded gravel pits.

Males may be confused with the Scarce Chaser Libellula fulva however the latter has a dark patch at the base of the wings and has not been recorded in Ireland since the 19th Century.


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Nelson, B., Thompson, R. & Morrow, C., 2000 (May 8). [In] DragonflyIreland http://www.ulstermuseum.org.uk/dragonflyireland/

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