Golden-Ringed in Cumbria

(April 25, 2019)


  • This is a Lake District speciality, being a species of small, deeply cut moorland streams; it may be encountered further down-stream as summer comes to an end.
  • It is our largest species and a very attractive one. With golden-yellow bands on a black body it looks handsome but close inspection of an example at rest will enable the wonderful green eyes to be seen. They are narrower than the eyes of hawker dragonflies and meet in a point on the top of the head.
  • They have a very purposeful flight, moving in one direction along a stretch of stream before turning round and going back over the same stretch. After a while they may disappear into the surrounding vegetation.
  • The larvae survive in a very harsh environment; slow flowing streams of summer may become very fast flowing and icy cold in winter. Consequently it may take the larvae several years to grow fully.
  • Females have unusually long ovi-positors so that eggs can be laid deep into the stream bed to stop them being washed away. Similarly, the larvae largely submerge themselves into the stream bed in order to get a grip and not be carried away. They generally wait for food to flow past them rather than go looking for it.