All active albums

european nature gallery

Back

Friday, 26 July 2019

The black-tailed skimmer

The black-tailed skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum) is a dragonfly belonging to the family Libellulidae. This species is widespread in Europe and Asia. It is found throughout European continent including the Mediterranean islands but is absent in the north of Britain and the northern half of Fennoscandia. This is one of the most common European species and it is still increasing its range northwards. To the east, the range extends over central Asia to Kashmir, Mongolia to the northern parts of China and Arunachal Pradesh in India. This dragonfly is found at any open water with bare patches along the shore where the patrolling males frequently rest in the sun. It also inhabits near slow-flowing waters. It favors lakes, slow rivers, ponds and sometimes marshy area, without dense riparian vegetation. Females are less bold and not encountered as regularly. Adults prefer to perch on bare ground and rocks. The main flight period is June and July. Males characteristically perch horizontally on exposed surfaces. They fly swift and low, skimming the water surface, while defending their territories. Mating can occur in flight or on land.
Females oviposits alone but with male in attendance. Eggs are laid in flight by dipping abdomen onto water surface. They hatch after five or six weeks and the larvae live partially hidden by bottom debris. They emerge after two or three years.Larvae prefer bottom areas rich in vegetation and decaying plant material.

 

(latin: Orthetrum cancellatum) 

Friday, 26 July 2019