Hunting Dragons: Small Pincertail

The Southern Skimmer and Darter are two southern species that do not make high demands on their habitat (especially the latter) and it’s likely that, with the continuing increase in temperatures, they will much more common in the next years. This is not true, however, for the next species: the Small Pincertail. Another southern species that has recently recolonised the Netherlands, but it inhabits areas that are rare in the Netherlands: streams with a rocky bottom and stones on the banks it can use to oversee his territorium. This is a habitat that we don’t have a lot in our country and I don’t think we ever will.

The habitat of the Small Pincertail

The Small Pincertail is a member of the clubtail-family, just like the River Clubtail, as can be seen by the two eyes that are separated (with all other dragonfly families both eyes are touching each other). Its most characteristic feature is the pincer at the end of the tail (what a surprise, isn’t it?).

Small Pincertail sunbathing on a rock

We needed two tries before we found this species. The first time, the weather wasn’t cooperative: no sun and even some rain, so no pincertails. The second time, however, the sun came out every now and then, enough for the dragonflies to start flying around and basking in the sun on their rocks.

Arjen Drost

Arjen is a Polar ecologist, nature photographer and full time expedition guide on expedition cruise ships in both Polar regions. With his pictures and stories he likes to show the beauty of these very fragile and threatened places.

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