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Keeled Skimmer

A highly specialised species requiring aquatic habitats in areas of acid peat. I know of only one breeding locality in Shropshire and Cramer Guller on Catherton Common is the place to find them. The abdomen is thickened and tapers gradually at the tip, unlike the Black-tailed Skimmer however, it is entirely blue apart from the black tiny tip segment (s1). The body of Females and immature males are yellow to light brown, darkening with age, some elderly females can appear almost black! Individuals do not fly far from their breeding haunts and a large colony can be seen over a very small area.

A male hanging on the bogside vegetation at Cramer Gutter in July 2015. Note the thin dark line or 'keel' down the top of the abdomen ....

Keeled Skimmer side on Cramer Gutter 5 7 15 IMG_0029






Wings swept forward at rest as is customary with this species....

Keeled Skimmer Cramer Gutter 5 7 15 IMG_0236






A male hanging on the bogside vegetation at Cramer Gutter, note the orange yellow wing spots....

Keeled Skimmer Catherton 10 7 10  IMG_9889






Another male with wings held characteristically twisted forwards ....

sbgallery Keeled Skimmer adult male Cramer Gutter 26 6 11  IMG_3257






An immature male with golden brown abdomen dark at the flanks and segment joints ...

Keeled Skimmer immature male Cramer Gutter 26 6 11 IMG_3204






A teneral female with much narrower abdomen than the male. Both sexes have an pair of creamy white stripes on top of the abdomen ....

Keeled Skimmer teneral female Cramer Gutter 26 6 11 IMG_3197






Teneral female Keeled Skimmer seen in close up ....

sbgallery  Keeled Skimmer teneral female close up head Cramer Gutter 26 6 11 IMG_3177






A pair of Keeled Skimmers mating ....

Keeled Skimmer pair mating Cramer Gutter 26 6 11  IMG_3330






Another pair mating,this male is an immature ....

Keeled Skimmer immature male mating Cramer Gutter 26 6 11  IMG_3205






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