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Keeled Skimmer

The Keeled Skimmer (Orthetrum coerulescens) is one of the rarest dragonflies in Norfolk, being recorded from only two sites (and one of those only from 2004!).

Picture of Keeled Skimmer
Photo:P N Taylor


Males can really only be confused with male Scarce and (if only seen in flight) Broad-bodied chasers, (but the chasers have black "saddle-bags" on the lower pair of wings) or male Black-tailed Skimmers, but the lack of black on the tail of the keeled plus the eye colour - black-tails have green, keeled have blue - should resolve things quickly.

The females can be confused with Common Darter females at first glance- but look for the following: the stripe between the wings (the "keel" it takes its name from); the very neat pricise black line that runs down the middle of each segment; and the "golden ladder" of yellow cells that runs across the fore-wings, one row behind the leading edge (costa).

Look for them flying up from in front of you as you walk across the heath. They settle quite readily and, with caution, can be approached quite closely.

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