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Thursday, 23 July 2015

Dragonfly Exuviae

Having bought the Field Guide to the larvae and exuviae of British Dragonflies book, I've been having a go at identifying any exuviae I find. We're lucky enough to have a digital microscope in the Wildlife Trust offices so here are some microscope photos of a Broad Bodied Chaser exuviae found on Coity Wallia commons on 4.7.15. I found it about 10m from a pond in Rhos pasture.

I initially narrowed it down to a chaser or skimmer going off body shape and size, then used the following features to identify it as a Broad-bodied Chaser male.

This specimen was slightly confusing as the distinction between chasers and skimmers is the dorsal spine on segment 8, which is missing in skimmers, as in this specimen. However, the black-tailed skimmer is also missing a dorsal spine on segment 7, unlike this specimen. Keeled skimmer does have a small dorsal spine but not usually as large as this one and this exuviae was found in unlikely habitat. I therefore concluded that it is a chaser, though I am just beginning on exuviae identification so please do correct me if I'm wrong!  


Deep serrations in front margin of labial palps, identified this specimen as a broad-bodied chaser rather than a four-spotted  chaser which has much shallower serrations. 

Underside faintly showing male accessory genitalia on segment 3

I'm finding it really interesting, although I have not been brave enough to try any damselflies yet!
Hope you enjoy seeing the close up pictures of the exuviae.

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