Common Darter - Sympetrum striolatum
Family - Libellulidae
Common and widespread across England and Wales, scarce into northern England and largely absent from Southern and central Scotland. The Highland Darter, a possible separate species, will be found on the West coast of Scotland. Adults usually seen on the wing from June to October sometimes can be the last Odonatid flying into early November. Habitation sites include shallow pools and small lakes but will be found in a wide range of habitats across the county. Rapidly colonises newly created sites, tolerates brackish water but avoids heavily shaded, densely vegetated eutrophic sites.
This species is similar to the Ruddy Darter S. sanguineum however in the Ruddy Darter the males ♂ are a deeper red, the abdomen is waisted and the legs are all black. Males are identified by an orange-red straight abdomen and two small black marks near the end of the abdomen whilst females ♀ are a dull yellow-brown with black and yellow striped legs. It can be found in Southern and central Europe to central Scandinavia, Northern Africa and across Asia to Japan.
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