Keeled skimmer

Orthetrum coerulescens


This medium-size dragonfly species is locally common in some areas of Britain but has a patchy distribution. Main habitat is heaths and commons with shallow pools. 

Individuals are quite skittish in flight but can be seen quite a distance from water despite its seemingly weak flight. 

How to identify

Slimmer than the black-tailed skimmer and the male has no black tip.

Where to find it

The keeled skimmer is found mainly in pools and streams in wet heathland area.


When to find it

  • 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 the keeled skimmer. 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
Keeled skimmer
Latin name
Orthetrum coerulescens
Dragonflies and damselflies
Conservation status
Classed by IUCN as a species of least concern.