Four-Spotted Chaser, Libellula quadrimaculata

The four-spotted chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata), also known as the four-spotted skimmer, is a species of dragonfly that can be found in Asia, Europe, and North America. This species can be seen near slow moving rivers, still ponds, and vernal pools between the months of April and September, but It is most commonly see between June and July. These times can vary depending upon the area of its range. This species is brown in color and holds four spots on its wings, making it easy to distinguish from other dragonflies in its range.

As is typical to dragonfly species, the four-spotted chaser holds territories and males are notoriously aggressive, often perching on a favored spot within a territory to watch for intruders. Once a male and female find each other, they will mate while flying, after which the female will lay her eggs on aquatic vegetation. Once these larvae hatch, they will develop underwater, consuming small tadpoles and other aquatic larvae. It is thought to be easier to approach than other dragonflies and is the official insect of the state of Alaska.

Image Caption: A Four-spotted Chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata) on a branch by a pond. Credit: The High Fin Sperm Whale/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)