Visual Key: Cordulegastridae?

Amongst those species with point contact eyes, one aspect of wing venation, the orientation of the so-called discoidal cells in the fore- and hind-wings, is the technical separator of the Cordulegastridae family of which there is but one representative species in the UK.

The Golden-ringed Dragonfly (Cordulegaster boltonii), being both large and strikingly marked in black and yellow at all life stages, rather stands out like a sore thumb. It also has distinctive antehumerals resembling “flared fangs” so the often difficult to see wing venation is readily avoided – the general markings being quite sufficient.

For the sake of monochrome, however, choose between “fang-like” antehumerals and the rest:

Discoidal triangles point to wing tip

Antehumerals: large, like long, flared fangs

All others: fore-wing discoidal cells point rearwards

NOT fang-like antehumerals


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