As stated in the Classification page, the four-spotted chaser received its common name from its behavior toward other organisms encroaching on its territory. This behavior has become the basis of the majority of the behavioral research observed on this species.

Libellula quadrimaculata in Lytle Creek, Crook County, Wyoming

Photo taken from with permission from RT Cox.

The four-spotted chaser is generally active in the Northern Hemisphere in the summer months from the end of May through August. Interactions among other species should be assumed to be during this time.

Interactions with other species
The most observed and documented behavior of the four-spotted chaser interacting with other organisms concerns the males of a group. Male four-spotted chasers are known to be extremely territorial - more so than the females, which are much more approachable - and are likely the main reason for the classification of "chaser." The males have been observed to claim perches on higher ground, such as outreaching branches of trees, leaves of tall plants, and tips of tall grasses, from which they keep a lookout for predators intruding on their territory. As stated previously, the chaser then chases the intruder at a very fast speed until they are no longer a threat to its territory. The male then either returns to his perch and this behavior is then repeated for other intrusions, or he continues to fly around the water surrounding his territory, on the lookout for anything other dangers (WIlligalla & Fartmann, 2012).

Because the four-spotted chaser does not have any major symbiotic relationships - they are not parasitic and do not have a mutualism with any other organisms, for example - their main interaction with other species concerns predation. After hatching, the larvae swim around in their aquatic environment for about two years. During this time, they feed on other small, mainly larval, forms of water animals (examples of these are listed on the Nutrition page of this website). Likewise, the dragonfly larvae are also prey for those same type of small aquatic animals. This is the first interaction with other species the insect experiences. Once it grows to an adult, its diet changes accordingly. The dragonfly now eats more developed insects with similar physical characteristics to itself, such as hard exoskeletons (Dudley, 2002). Examples of these animals are also included in the Nutrition page.

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