Common migrant.

Male: deep red with red wing veins.

Female: ochre yellow with yellow wing veins.




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Species GroupDragonflies
Scientific NameSympetrum fonscolombii
Status & Distribution

Fairly frequent migrant, principally to the south of Britain, although scattered records from elsewhere. Records have been increasing since the 1980s. Breeding observed regularly, but colonies are seemingly not stable yet.


Breeds in large shallow water bodies such as rice paddies in Southern Europe.

Flight PeriodRed-veined Darter
Adult Identification
  • Length: 38-40mm
  • The pale pterostigma (wing spots) outlined in black.
  • Eyes brown above and blue below.
  • Yellow wing bases.
  • Male: deep red with red wing veins. The frons (face) and the thorax are red. Single pale stripe on side of thorax.
  • Female: ochre yellow abdomen. Yellow wing veins.
  • Immature adults: similar to females.
Larval Information

Darters have a squat, spider-like body-shape, a rounded back to the head and eyes that stick out to the sides.

No dorsal spines on the abdomen, but has dorsal setae (hairs) instead.

Abdomen has two dark dorsal stripes.



Similar Species

Can be confused with other Darter species.

This species can be distinguished by the following features:

  • blue eyes.
  • pale pterostigma (wing spots) outlined in black.
  • coloured wing veins (red in males, yellow in females).