Keeled Skimmer - Orthetrum coerulescens


Length: 40 to 44 mm. A slim dragonfly with a pronounced dorsal keel (dark line down the middle of the back).  Male: blue body and blue-grey eyes.  Female: ochre abdomen and brown eyes.

Similar Species

May be confused with Black-tailed Skimmer and Scarce Chaser. The Keeled Skimmer can be distinguished by its: paler wings spots, yellow costa (leading wing vein), pale antehumeral stripes on the back of the thorax and black keel.

Identification difficulty
Recording advice

Unless identified by a recognised expert, a photo is required. If the photo doesn't show the key ID features then in the comments box describe the size and identifying characters you have observed.


Pools and streams in wet heathland sites.

When to see it

May to September.

UK Status

The species has a very local and patchy distribution in Britain. It is mainly recorded in western Britain and Ireland where it can be locally frequent.

VC55 Status

Rarely recorded in Leicestershire and Rutland.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map