Last week whilst working near the Wellington Monument in Aldershot, I spotted some interesting dragonflies. Several Keeled Skimmers were basking on a heath nearby. Typically of skimmers these small-medium dragonflies hold their wings forward when they rest and are easily missed.
Both sexes have a narrow black dorsal line or ‘Keel’. The male has a distinctive entirely powder-blue abdomen, whilst the female looks very different with a yellow ochre colour. This ‘keel’ sets the species apart from the similar Black-Tailed Skimmer, where the unsurprisingly the male sports a black-tipped abdomen and the female has a distinctive black ladder pattern.
Also on the newly cut field by the statue I found this Female Emperor Dragonfly which is hard to miss due to it’s large size. This is a female because of the thick black dorsal line down the abdomen. However just to keep me on my toes, whilst females are usually green all over, this is the more unusual blue form which can easily be mistaken for a male.