Black-tailed Skimmer Orthetrum cancellatum

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50mm, Wings 78mm


Black-tailed Skimmer - Orthetrum cancellatum
Thorax black, no antehumeral stripes; Abdomen top is blue with yellow spots towards sides, black tip; legs black.


Black-tailed Skimmer - Orthetrum cancellatum
All yellow with 2 black bands on upper surface abdomen.


Prefers lakes, ponds, gravel workings, slow rivers or marshes, with exposed mud, stones or bare patches where the male can perch.


Highly territorial, males perch on bare areas of ground, typically on slightly raised areas such as stones, logs or bare soil, on the lookout for females and rival males. When patrolling over water they fly low, skimming over the surface. Copulation can take place in flight, where it will only last for a few seconds, though sometimes this can take place in vegetation where it may last up to 15 minutes. Oviposition occurs by dipping the abdomen into water, with the male often remaining nearby. Larvae live amongst the bottom silts, emerging after two to three years. Emergence usually takes place on vegetation, often several metres away from water.

Flight Period

Distribution Map


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