Thursday, June 12, 2008

Black-tailed Skimmer/ Stor Blåpil

Orthetrum cancellatrum

Black-tailed Skimmer/ Stor Blåpil
Vest Stadil Fjord,West Jutland
Black-tailed skimmer is common in North Africa and the most of Europe. In Norway it is considered extinct. In Denmark it is known from all districts. Since Denmark is on the northern border of its area of distribution it is possible that the Danish occurence of black-tailed skimmer might be influenced by climatic changes.

The male has a blue abdomen with a black tip and transparent wings and the female has a yellowish brown body with black zigzag marks along the abdomen and the transparent wings. It is an active skimmer that patrols its territory aggressively frequently resting on patches of bare ground or stones although it will occassionally rest up in vegetation. It favours open areas of still water that has a hard not muddy substrate.
Leave patches of bare ground around the edges of larger water bodies and leave cut grass and other vegetation to dry out in ‘habitat piles’. These pale areas will attract basking dragonflies. Skimmers hunt from low perches, so placing a few sticks or twigs close to the water’s edge will also encourage them.
photo Vest Stadil Fjord 070608 : grethe bachmann

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