Description

One of the most Common Darter species.

Male: blood-red, club-shaped body.

Female: ochre-yellow, parallel body; may develop some red coloration.

Immature male: Female coloration.

Where to See

Latin NameSympetrum sanguineum
Habitat

Specialises in well vegetated ponds, lakes, canals etc.

Frequently in woodlands.

Will tolerate acidic waters.

Status & Distribution

Most common in south-east England and central Ireland but increasing its range.

Similar Species

The various resident and migrant species of Darter in the UK are easily confused, the females being particularly difficult to tell apart. This species has all black legs and the waisted appearance of the blood-red male helps with identification.

May be confused with other Darter species, the most common being the Common Darter.

Can be distinguished by:

  • Black legs
  • Orange wing base
  • Brown pterostigma
  • Male: blood-red coloration and club-shaped body.
Species GroupDragonflies
Identification Notes
  • Length: 34-36mm
  • Black legs.
  • The pterostigma (wing spots) are brown.
  • Intense orange colouration only at the very base of the wings.
  • Two prominent black marks on segments 8 and 9 (at the bottom of the abdomen).
  • Male: blood-red club-shaped abdomen, red-brown thorax and red frons (face).
  • Female: ochre-yellow, parallel body; may develop some red coloration.
  • Immature male: Female coloration. 

     

Flight PeriodRuddy Darter
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