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 one 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. As well as the wing venation, it also has distinctive antehumeral stripes resembling “flared fangs” [look like a sabre-toothed tiger] which should be a much more visual differentiation compared to the often difficult to see wing venation.

Choose either the relevant wing venation or the presence or otherwise of “fang-like” antehumerals:

Discoidal cells point to wing tips

Antehumerals: large, like flared fangs

All others: fore-wing discoidal cells point rearwards

NOT fang-like antehumerals


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: