Orthetrum coerulescens | Keeled Skimmer | Scimire na Sruthlán



Conservation status

Ireland: Least Concern

EU: Least Concern

The species is assessed as least concern in the absence of evidence of significant decline. 

Native status


Species Biology


Length: 4.2cm

Wingspan: 6cm

Both sexes have yellow or brown wing spots and pale antehumeral stripes which fade on the male with age. The wings have a slight brownish tint when immature. The male has a powder blue abdomen, without a black tip, bluish-grey eyes, pale antehumeral stripes and a dark thorax.

Females have a yellowish-brown abdomen with a fine black line running down the centre, the abdomen darkens to brown with age. Costa are yellow on both sexes. Immature males look like females, they have a yellow abdomen and a black line running down the centre but also have broader black lines running down either side.

Adult habitat & habits

Flight is quite “skittish” with frequent hovering. When resting they hold their wings very forward. Males defend small territories around perches.


Shallow flushes and pools

Flight period

June to September (occasionally April and/or May)


World distribution(GBIF)

Irish distribution

Confined to upland areas in south and west hills and bogs, local in midlands and north. Most abundant on coastal areas. Found mainly in the west and south west, other recordings are scattered around the midlands, north coast and east coast. 

Temporal change

Records submitted to Data Centre in 2024

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