Golden-ringed dragonfly

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Golden-ringed dragonfly
Golden-ringed dragonfly (Cordulegaster boltonii) male.jpg
male
Fermyn Woods, Northamptonshire
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Odonata
Suborder: Anisoptera
Family: Cordulegastridae
Genus: Cordulegaster
Species: C. boltonii
Binomial name
Cordulegaster boltonii
(Donovan, 1807)

The golden-ringed dragonfly (Cordulegaster boltonii) is a large, striking dragonfly and the longest British species,[1] the only one of its genus to be found in the United Kingdom.[2]

Identification[edit]

They are easily identified by their distinctive black and yellow stripes, which no other dragonfly in the United Kingdom has.[3] A very large species, males average 74 mm and the larger females 84 mm. Wingspan is up to 101 mm.[4]

Larvae[edit]

The female lays the eggs in shallow water. The hairy larvae live at the bottom of the water and are well camouflaged amongst the silt.[5] They emerge after about 2–5 years, and usually under the cover of darkness.

Behaviour[edit]

They are often seen flying leisurely over mountain streams or a river; they also occasionally show up at a pond. They are also typically seen flying over heath land. Their bright yellow and black stripes make them easy to identify, even from a fair distance away. They feed mainly on insects ranging from small prey such as midges to flies, butterflies and even bumblebees. This strikingly-coloured insect is incredibly aerobatic and they sometimes fly very high up into the sky.[6]

See also[edit]

First description of the species by Moses Harris, 1766, who however wrongly identified it as Libellula forcipata.

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Cordulegaster boltonii". British Dragonfly Society. Retrieved 18 August 2010. 
  2. ^ "Golden-ringed dragonfly (Cordulegaster boltonii)". ARKive. Retrieved February 7, 2008. 
  3. ^ "UK Safari". Retrieved 2008-02-07. 
  4. ^ http://www.arkive.org/golden-ringed-dragonfly/cordulegaster-boltonii/
  5. ^ "Wild Scotland". Archived from the original on October 6, 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-07. 
  6. ^ "Dragonflies at Plas Farm". Retrieved 2008-02-07.