Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata
Measuring 40 to 48 mm the Four-spotted Chaser is about the same size as the Broad-bodied Chaser. The latter however gives the impression of being the bigger of the two, due to the broad body. The Four-spotted Chaser is named after the four obvious spots. These are located at the front edge of the wings. Each wing has two spots. Young animals have a yellowish orange body ending in a contrasting black rear end. In older animals the orange turns into brown, making the black end of the body less contrasting. There is no difference in colour between males and females. Males remain near the water, females sometimes are seen further away. In gardens the Four-spotted Chaser usually is rarely seen. In parks, even within cities however this may be an abundant species.
Depending on the temperature of the water and the amount of food the larvae overwinter two or three times. When conditions are really perfect the larva may overwinter only once. In such years great numbers of Four-spotted Chasers are on the wing. Males have a territory. They chase away any male that enters the territory. Neighbouring males are very busy chasing eachother away. Doing so thay may even invade a third male's territory and this leads to even more turmoil. As males usually return to one and the same spot after chasing away an opponent, you don't need to follow them, but can wait for them near such a spot. The males of the Four-spotted Chaser are more approachable than the male of the Broad-bodied Chaser.
The Four-spotted Chaser is very common all over Europe, Asia and Northern America. The first fresh adults appear in April and the species is on the wing till August or even September. However in June and July there is a clear peak in numbers. In Northern America this species is referred to as the Four-spotted Skimmer.