DragonflyPix

Orthetrum cancellatum

• Scientific name: Orthetrum cancellatum (Linnaeus, 1758)
• English name: Black-Tailed Skimmer
• German name: Grosser Blaupfeil
• French name: Orthétrum réticulé
• Dutch name: Gewone oeverlibel
• Swedish name: Större sjötrollslända
• Norwegian name: Stor blålibelle
• Finnish name: Merisinikorento
• Danish name: Stor blåpil
• Italian name: Frecciazzurra puntanera
• Czech name: vážka černořitná
• Slovenian name: Prodni modrač
• Bulgarian name: Черновърхо синилниче
• Typical length: 44-50 mm
• Hindwing: 35-41 mm

Orthetrum cancellatum

Distribution map

Map data based on J.-P. Boudot & V. J. Kalkman (eds.),
Atlas of the European Dragonflies and Damselflies

The Black-Tailed Skimmer is one of Europe's most widespread species, absent only from Northern Scandinavia. It's a fairly large dragonfly. With age, adult males develop extensive blue pruinescence on their abdomen, which is offset by yellow lateral patches. The females and immature males are a beautiful deep yellow colour and have wavy black lines dorsally on their abdomen. Orthetrum cancellatum is very similar to its much more localized congener the White-Tailed Skimmer, and yet it's sufficiently different to allow easy identification in the field; the species' main distinguishing feature (apart from its slightly more stocky build and intense colours) is the dark colour of the male's S8-10 and appendages and of the female's appendages.

Line DrawingLineDrawing: the male's abdomen and the female's abdomen in dorsal view.

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