Common migrant.

Male: deep red with red wing veins.

Female and immature males: ochre yellow abdomen with yellow wing veins.

Where to See

Latin NameSympetrum fonscolombii

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

Status & Distribution

Fairly frequent migrant, principally to southwest England though scattered records from elsewhere (has reached Scotland).

Breeds nearly annually, but colonies are seemingly not stable.

Similar Species

Can be confused with other Darter species.

Can be distinguished by:

  • blue eyes
  •  yellow-orange pterostigma
  • coloured wing veins
Species GroupDragonflies
Identification Notes
  • Length: 38-40mm
  • The pterostigma is yellow to orange strongly 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-brown.
  • Immature males: coloured as the females but have only a single line along each side of the abdomen.
  • Female: ochre yellow abdomen with two black lines along each side. Yellow wing veins.
Flight PeriodRed-veined Darter