Four-spotted Chaser in its natural habitat

Photo of a four-spotted chaser in the sunshine. Public domain photo taken from commons.wikimedia.org.

Geographic Range
The four-spotted chaser is found in many areas around the Northern Hemisphere, and because of this, it is unknown as to where the species originated. In North America, they are mainly found in the Midwest United States and southern Canada, as well as a couple small areas of Alaska. In Europe, they are common in Austria, Belgium, France, Great Britain, and Ireland. In Asia, they can be spotted in areas of China, as well as many parts of Japan (IUCN).

Map of Libellula quadrimaculata distribution
This map was taken from DiscoverLife.org. Public domain image. It shows the approximate distribution of Libellula quadrimaculata across the Northern Hemisphere. In each of the areas indicated, the four-spotted chaser is considered a native species. Most have similar summer temperatures and aquatic environments.

Ecological Niche
As with most other species in the Family Libellulidae, the four-spotted chaser is generally only found near freshwater aquatic environments. This is because of multiple reasons. When the insect is in its larval stage, it cannot fly; it swims around in the water, eating mainly small aquatic insects. Once in the adult stage, the insect eats larger insects that are also found near water, such as mosquitoes. This chaser often tends to choose habitats with plenty of overgrown vegetation. This allows for a diverse appetite, as well as a guard from predation (Russell & Fitzpatrick 1998).
Sharing this ecological niche with the four-spotted chaser are many other species. Mosquitoes, mayflies, moths, other species of dragonfly, and large flies are all common insects sharing that space. The four-spotted chaser is commonly the most active in June to late August (Schindler, et. all 2003).

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