Keeled Skimmer
Orthetrum coerulescens

Arguably the most common of dragonflies in the New Forest, the Keeled Skimmer can be found ubiquitously at streams, bogs, ponds and often great distances from an obvious water source.

The pale blue abdomen is not dissimilar to that of the Broad-bodies Chaser and Black Tailed Skimmer, both of which it can be easily confused for. Keeled Skimmers tend to be slightly smaller than both of these species, with wings that are characteristically forward facing when perched. Juveniles are seen in abundance, and lack the blue colouration of their mature adult counterparts.

Keeled Skimmers make regular short bursty flights between perching, which usually takes place on or close to the ground.

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Widespread throughout the New Forest, can be seen at Crockford Stream, Holmsley Wood, Slufters Pond, Holmsley Gravel Pit and Tiptoe Stream.
Photo Juvenile Photo Juvenile Copulating Pair Photo View movie clip
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seasonal appearance distinguishing features

Males have a pastel blue abdomen, and dull blue eyes. Females are yellow in colouration and have tinted yellow wings. The yellow pterostigma (coloured wing semgent at the front of the wing tip) can be used to positively differentiate between similar species.