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Sombre goldenring

Cordulegaster bidentata

Photo: Sombre goldenring
Weights and measures
Wingspan from 90 to 110 mm
Animal description
The Sombre Goldenring, scientifically known as Cordulegaster bidentata, is a captivating species of dragonfly belonging to the Cordulegastridae family. This insect is renowned for its striking appearance and distinct behavioral traits, making it a subject of interest among entomologists and nature enthusiasts alike.

Adult Sombre Goldenrings are characterized by their robust bodies, which exhibit a mesmerizing blend of metallic hues. The base color of their exoskeleton is a deep, glossy black, which serves as a backdrop for the vibrant golden-yellow markings that adorn their thorax and abdominal segments. These golden patterns are not just for show; they play a crucial role in thermoregulation and camouflage among the dappled sunlight of their forest habitats.

The wings of the Sombre Goldenring are another notable feature, being large, transparent, and veined with a smoky hue that adds to their mystical appearance. When in flight, their wings produce a distinctive buzzing sound, making them easily recognizable even before they come into view.

Cordulegaster bidentata is predominantly found in the lush forests and woodlands of Southern and Central Europe. They have a particular affinity for pristine, slow-flowing streams and rivers, where the larvae, known as naiads, develop. These aquatic habitats are crucial for the survival of the species, providing both a breeding ground and a hunting area.

The life cycle of the Sombre Goldenring is both fascinating and complex. After mating, the female lays her eggs in the soft mud or moss near water bodies, using a specially adapted ovipositor to insert them carefully. The larvae, once hatched, spend up to four years in the water, undergoing several molts as they grow. These naiads are formidable predators, feeding on a variety of aquatic organisms until they are ready to emerge as adults.

The adult phase of the Sombre Goldenring is relatively short-lived, lasting only a few months. During this time, their primary focus is on mating and reproduction, ensuring the continuation of their species. Adults are also predatory, feeding on smaller insects that they catch in mid-air with impressive agility and precision.

Despite their beauty and ecological importance, the Sombre Goldenring faces several threats, including habitat destruction and pollution. The degradation of their natural habitats due to human activities such as deforestation, agriculture, and urbanization has led to a decline in their populations in some areas.

Conservation efforts are crucial to protect these remarkable creatures and their habitats. By preserving the rivers and forests where they thrive, we not only safeguard the Sombre Goldenring but also countless other species that share these ecosystems. The Sombre Goldenring, with its ethereal beauty and intriguing life history, serves as a reminder of the delicate balance of our natural world and the importance of its conservation.
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