Common migrant.

Male: deep red with red wing veins.

Female: ochre yellow with yellow wing veins.




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Latin NameSympetrum fonscolombii

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

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.

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).
Species GroupDragonflies
Identification Notes
  • 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.
Flight PeriodRed-veined Darter
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.