Monday, 4 July 2011

Four-spotted Chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata)

With glorious weather on Sunday, I visited Sculthorpe Moor nature reserve in North Norfolk and spent a fabulous hour or so watching these two Four-spotted Chaser dragonflies fight out a battle for territory. This is how it played out… The dragonfly in the last image – the one somewhat worse for wear with virtually only three fully operational wings left – had staked a claim to a reed bed and was prepared to see off any others that entered an area around five metres wide. The other dragonfly was one of many that entered this restricted airspace only to be vigorously fended off. After each 'dogfight', the three-winged Four-spot – seemingly unencumbered in flight by the absence of the fourth wing – would return to the same reed stalk. The interloper would not, however, give up and eventually, it forced off the resident and, in turn, staked his claim to this tiny patch of prime Norfolk real estate.

And finally a quick PS… while watching these two, I also saw an Emperor Dragonfly take a Large White butterfly in mid-air. Sadly, however, I was too slow with the camera.

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm IS USM lens, 1/640 sec, f/6.3, 400mm at ISO 250

Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm IS USM lens, 1/160 sec, f/20, 400mm at ISO 250
Canon 1Ds MkII, Canon 100-400mm IS USM lens, 1/1,000 sec, f/6.3, 400mm at ISO 250


  1. i knew they ate mosquitos. didn't realize they'd take a butterfly.

  2. Great shots, neither has a decent set of wings. What a thing to see, an Emperor taking a Large White!

  3. Hi Toffeeapple. They do both look as if they've been in the wars, don't they.