Dragonflies and damselflies

Keeled skimmer

Keeled skimmer

Keeled skimmers are widespread and common throughout the New Forest and are easily seen anywhere out on the open heath, but especially in the boggy valleys. In the UK they have a scattered distribution, being restricted to Wales, Cornwall and Devon, parts of western Scotland, the New Forest and the Surrey heaths.

Keeled skimmers occur along small rivers and streams and boggy areas on peat, usually where sphagnum moss grows. This restricts them to areas of wet heath and moors. However in the New Forest they are so widespread that there is no need to go to a particular spot to find them - just go to any open, wet, boggy area on the heath during June or July and you are bound to see them.

ID tip - Keeled skimmers have powder blue bodies that are pencil thin. They do not have the dark patch at the base of the wing found in the chaser dragonflies, but have totally clear wings. Black-tailed skimmers are similar, but have a distinct black end to the tail, while the keeled skimmer is blue all the way to the tip of the tail.

Photo credit: Dennis Cole

  1. Dragonflies and damselflies
  2. Azure damselflies
  3. Beautiful demoiselle
  4. Blue-tailed damselfly
  5. Broad-bodied chasers
  6. Common darter
  7. Emperor dragonfly
  8. Golden-ringed dragonfly
  9. Keeled skimmer (you are here)
  10. Large red damselfly
  11. Small red damselfly
  12. Southern damselfly
  13. Southern hawker

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