Common Darter - Sympetrum striolatum

Photos

Various photos of Common Darter - Sympetrum striolatum, many taken in gardens away from water.

  • Common Darter - Sympetrum striolatum: CRW 3297
    Female, Kempston
  • Common Darter - Sympetrum striolatum: CRW 3307
    Female, Kempston
  • Common Darter - Sympetrum striolatum: CRW 3332
    Female, Kempston
  • Common Darter - Sympetrum striolatum: CRW 3338
    Female, Kempston
  • Common Darter - Sympetrum striolatum: CRW 3348
    Female, Kempston
  • Common Darter - Sympetrum striolatum: CRW 3362
    Female, Kempston
  • Common Darter - Sympetrum striolatum:  A3P0070
    Female, Kempston
  • Common Darter - Sympetrum striolatum:  A3P0116
    Female, Kempston
  • Common Darter - Sympetrum striolatum:  A3P0198
    Male, River Great Ouse, Kempston Church End
  • Common Darter - Sympetrum striolatum:  A3P0204
    Male, Biddenham Loop Country walk
  • Common Darter - Sympetrum striolatum:  A3P0205
    Male, Biddenham Loop Country walk
  • Common Darter - Sympetrum striolatum:  A3P0281
    Over mature female, Biddenham Loop Country walk
  • Common Darter - Sympetrum striolatum:  A3P0320
    Female, Kempston
  • Common Darter - Sympetrum striolatum:  A3P0367
    Male, Kempston
  • Common Darter - Sympetrum striolatum:  A3P1629
    Immature male, River Great Ouse, Kempston Church End
  • Common Darter - Sympetrum striolatum:  A3P1633
    Immature male, River Great Ouse, Kempston Church End
  • Common Darter - Sympetrum striolatum:  A3P2489
    Immature male, River Great Ouse, Kempston Church End
  • Common Darter - Sympetrum striolatum:  A3P3160
    Female, Biddenham Loop Country Walk
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Main features

Classification:

Odonata        
Anisoptera     True dragonflies
  Libellulidae   Chasers, Skimmers, & Darters

One of many reddish male/yellow female Darter species, but in Bedfordshire it's most likely to be confused with the Ruddy Darter - Sympetrum sanguineum.

Look out for the straight abdomen in males (the ruddy has a narrow "waist"), yellow patches on the thorax beneath the wings, closer inspection shows the Common Darters' black and yellow striped legs and very little yellow coloration to the base of the wings.

Females darken with age, becoming a dull brown. Immature males are yellowish like the female.

Habitat

Pretty much anywhere there is clean water, rivers, ponds and lakes, gravel pits. Common away from water when not breeding.

Where to see

Bedfordshire's most common dragonfly species, most rivers and ponds will support a number of them.

Visible from mid June through to November - a long season.