Golden-ringed Dragonfly

Cordulegaster boltonii


The golden-ringed dragonfly is a very large dragonfly which is on the wing from May to September. It is a dragonfly of small, acidic streams in moorland and heathland and may be found away from its breeding sites. The female of this species is the UK's longest dragonfly because of her long ovipositor. Golden-ringed dragonflies are voracious predators, feeding on large insects such as damselflies, other dragonflies, wasps, beetles and bumblebees. They are fast, agile and powerful flyers.

How to identify

Unmistakeable: both sexes of the golden-ringed dragonfly are black with yellow bands along the body and bright-green eyes. Females are longer and thinner.

Where to find it

Found in the uplands of Scotland, northern England, Wales and the south-west of England, and on heathland in southern England.


When to find it

  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September

How can people help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many wetland nature reserves for the benefit of all kinds of wildlife, including the golden-ringed dragonfly. But these precious sites are under threat from development, drainage and climate change. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife happenings, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities and be helping local wildlife along the way.

Species information

Common name
Golden-ringed Dragonfly
Latin name
Cordulegaster boltonii
Dragonflies and damselflies
Length: 7.4-8.4cm
Conservation status