Scarce Chaser - Libellula fulva


Length: 40 to 49mm. The abdomen of the mature male Scarce Chaser is pale blue. Its eyes are also blue. However, prior to maturity the male and female look very similar having deep orange colouration, black triangular shaped markings on the upper surface of each abdominal segment and dark bases to the wings. Synchronised emergence usually begins towards the end of May, and adults can be seen on the wing until early August.

Similar Species

The male Broad-bodied Chaser and the male Black-tailed Skimmer both have the same powder blue abdomens but in both cases these species have paired yellow dots along ther sides of ther abdomen - which are absent in the Scarce Chaser.

The female Scarce Chaser abdomen is quite distinctive with the orange-brown colour and the black triangular mark.

Identification difficulty

The Scarce Chaser is a species of Lowland river floodplains and usually inhabits slow-flowing, meandering rivers and large dykes. Occasionally mature gravel pits and nearby ponds also support populations.

When to see it

Adults are usually on the wing from the end of May until early August.

UK Status

L. fulva is scarce in Britain and is consequently listed under category 3 (scarce) in the British Red Data Book on Insects.

VC55 Status

It is a recent arrival in Leicestershire and Rutland which is near the northern edge of its range.

  Our Champion for the Scarce Chaser is Steve Mathers

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


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

UK Map