DragonflyPix

Western Spectre (Boyeria irene)

• English name: Western Spectre
• German name: Westliche Geisterlibelle
• French name: Aeschne paisible
• Dutch name: Schemerlibel
• Swedish name: N/A
• Norwegian name: N/A
• Finnish name: N/A
• Danish name: N/A
• Italian name: Dragone spettro
• Czech name: N/A
• Slovenian name: Večerna senca
• Bulgarian name: N/A

Western Spectre (Boyeria irene)

Distribution map Boyeria irene

Map data based on J.-P. Boudot & V. J. Kalkman (eds.),
Atlas of the European Dragonflies and Damselflies


General • a very large species which occurs mainly in South-Western Europe
Classification • suborder: Anisoptera (dragonflies); family: Aeshnidae
Scientific name Boyeria irene (Fonscolombe, 1838)
Distribution • click or tap the Map button above
Notes • males zigzag low over the water, meticulously checking every nook and cranny in the river bank for ovipositing females
  • females may enter holes or gaps in the river bank to spend upwards of an hour ovipositing in the roots of plants and trees
  • aeshnids are 'fliers': they spend a lot of time on the wing and seldom hang up for a rest
  • because of their perfectly camouflaged colouration of brown, green and beige, animals at rest may be difficult to spot
  • when they do rest, they hang up on large, shady, vertical surfaces (e.g. tree trunks and rocks) which match their colouration, or on twigs and branches with overhanging leaves; in either case direct sunlight is carefully avoided
Habitat • streams and rivers with plants and trees whose roots are directly over the water, but also at large lakes and reservoirs
Dimensions • typical body length: 63-71 mm; hindwing: 39-45 mm
Both sexesHead• in mature animals the eyes are green; in immature animals they are brown
 Thorax➤ the colouration on the thorax is a mix of mottled browns and greens
 Abdomen➤ the colouration on the abdomen is a mix of mottled browns and greens
  • the abdomen is heavily waisted on S3
 Wings• mature animals may have dark patches on the wing tips
MaleAbdomen• S9 and S10 are unmarked green (in mature males) or beige-brown (in immature males)
FemaleAbdomen• the female's appendages may be long (in the form typica) or short (in the form brachycerca)
Photographs • all of our photos below were made in Italy and Spain

Boyeria irene; appendages, female
Note how long the appendages are in the form typica (left) compared to the form brachycerca (right).

Click on a thumbnail to display the photograph (at 1200 x 800 pixels) in a new window.

Boyeria irene, thumbnail 1 / 20
Western Spectre (Boyeria irene) ♂

1 / 20; PhotoID: Dr563 09/06/2015 15:40 Spain F8 1/100 180mm ISO800 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
Boyeria irene, thumbnail 2 / 20
Western Spectre (Boyeria irene) ♀

2 / 20; PhotoID: Dr564 02/08/2006 16:37 Italy F5.6 1/60 180mm ISO400 Canon30D -Crop -Flash MF
Boyeria irene, thumbnail 3 / 20
Western Spectre (Boyeria irene) ♀

3 / 20; PhotoID: Dr565 18/08/2010 14:23 Spain F5.6 1/40 180mm ISO400 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
Boyeria irene, thumbnail 4 / 20
Western Spectre (Boyeria irene) ♀

4 / 20; PhotoID: Dr566 18/08/2010 14:36 Spain F8 1/8 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
Boyeria irene, thumbnail 5 / 20
Western Spectre (Boyeria irene) ♂

5 / 20; PhotoID: Dr567 18/07/2016 13:22 Italy F8 1/50 180mm ISO800 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
Boyeria irene, thumbnail 6 / 20
Western Spectre (Boyeria irene) ♂

6 / 20; PhotoID: Dr568 09/06/2015 15:57 Spain F8 1/80 180mm ISO400 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
Boyeria irene, thumbnail 7 / 20
Western Spectre (Boyeria irene) ♀

7 / 20; PhotoID: Dr569 24/07/2015 14:27 Italy F8 1/80 180mm ISO400 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
Boyeria irene, thumbnail 8 / 20
Western Spectre (Boyeria irene) ♂

8 / 20; PhotoID: Dr571 18/07/2016 13:42 Italy F8 1/50 180mm ISO800 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
Boyeria irene, thumbnail 9 / 20
Western Spectre (Boyeria irene) ♂

9 / 20; PhotoID: Dr570 11/06/2015 11:24 Spain F8 1/50 180mm ISO200 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
Boyeria irene, thumbnail 10 / 20
Western Spectre (Boyeria irene) ♀

10 / 20; PhotoID: Dr572 15/06/2012 08:49 Spain F8 1/250 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
Boyeria irene, thumbnail 11 / 20
Western Spectre (Boyeria irene) ♂

11 / 20; PhotoID: Dr573 07/06/2010 12:47 Spain F5.6 1/125 180mm ISO400 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
Boyeria irene, thumbnail 12 / 20
Western Spectre (Boyeria irene) ♀

12 / 20; PhotoID: Dr670 15/06/2012 08:57 Spain F8 1/160 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
Boyeria irene, thumbnail 13 / 20
Western Spectre (Boyeria irene) ♀

13 / 20; PhotoID: Dr671 07/06/2017 13:11 Spain F8 1/400 180mm ISO400 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
Boyeria irene, thumbnail 14 / 20
Western Spectre (Boyeria irene) ♀

14 / 20; PhotoID: Dr672 05/07/2007 11:10 Italy F5.6 1/160 180mm ISO400 Canon30D -Crop -Flash MF
Boyeria irene, thumbnail 15 / 20
Western Spectre (Boyeria irene) ♀

15 / 20; PhotoID: Dr673 05/07/2007 11:14 Italy F5.6 1/250 180mm ISO400 Canon30D -Crop -Flash MF
Boyeria irene, thumbnail 16 / 20
Western Spectre (Boyeria irene) ♂

16 / 20; PhotoID: Dr674 11/06/2015 14:26 Spain F8 1/60 180mm ISO800 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
Boyeria irene, thumbnail 17 / 20
Western Spectre (Boyeria irene) ♀

17 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1245 13/06/2015 10:40 Spain F8 1/160 180mm ISO400 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
Boyeria irene, thumbnail 18 / 20
Western Spectre (Boyeria irene) ♀

18 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1246 15/08/2009 15:25 Italy F5.6 1/80 180mm ISO800 Canon50D -Crop -Flash MF
Boyeria irene, thumbnail 19 / 20
Western Spectre (Boyeria irene) ♀

19 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1247 15/08/2009 15:33 Italy F5.6 1/30 180mm ISO800 Canon50D -Crop -Flash MF
Boyeria irene, thumbnail 20 / 20
Western Spectre (Boyeria irene) ♀

20 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1248 18/08/2010 14:38 Spain F8 1/15 180mm ISO400 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF