- Family: Cordulegastridae
- Scientific: Cordulegaster boltonii
- English: Golden-ringed dragonfly
- Spanish: La libélula tigre
The golden-ringed dragonfly – Cordulegaster boltonii – La libélula tigre is a large and distinctive dragonfly that belongs to the Cordulegastridae family. They are easily recognized by their black and yellow stripes. Males have yellow parts on the face and jaw, green eyes, a black thorax with wide yellow stripes on the back and sides, a black abdomen with yellow markings, and distinctive features on its wings.
Females have similar patterns and colors as the male but is larger, has a thicker abdomen, and has a vulvar spine that looks like a long and striking thorn. (The vulvar spine is a long and striking thorn-like structure that protrudes from the female dragonfly’s genitalia. It is used to remove any sperm that may be present in the female’s reproductive tract before laying her eggs)
Often seen flying leisurely over mountain streams or rivers and occasionally showing up at a pond or flying over heath land. Their bright yellow and black stripes make them easy to identify, even from a fair distance away. They feed mainly on insects ranging from small prey such as midges to flies, butterflies, and even bumblebees. This insect is incredibly aerobatic and sometimes flies very high up into the sky.
- Total length: 74 to 85 mm
- Hind Wing: 40 to 51 mm
- Flight period in Iberia: May to September
- Habitat: Streams, rivers, water tanks and drinking troughs. (Prefers colder water)
- Distribution: Iberian peninsular
Habits and habitat of Golden-ringed dragonfly – Cordulegaster boltonii – La libélula tigre
The female lays eggs in shallow water, and the hairy larvae live at the bottom of the water, well camouflaged amongst the silt. They emerge after about 2–5 years, usually under the cover of darkness.
In general, golden-ringed dragonflies reproduce in middle and upper river and stream courses with perennial water bodies that are cold and supplied with oxygen. They can also be found in springs, water tanks, fountains, and drinking troughs in middle and upper mountains. They are a good indicator of water quality.
Usually seen flying low along the rivers and streams where the vegetation is dense and there are willows. When at rest, they hang vertically or diagonally and fully open their wings. They rest on trees, bushes, and tall grasses on sunny mornings and in shady areas when it is hot. They fly far away from the place where they mate, so they can be seen well away from water bodies.
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