David Element

Wildlife Photography and Digital Video Images

 

_____________________________________Dragonflies and Damselflies 10 Common Darters

 

 

 

 

 

                                         COMMON DARTER DRAGONFLIES Sympetrum striolatum (m, f)

 

 

 

 

                                         COMMON DARTER DRAGONFLY Sympetrum striolatum (m)

 

 

 

 

                                         COMMON DARTER DRAGONFLY Sympetrum striolatum (m)

 

 

 

 

                                         COMMON DARTER DRAGONFLIES Sympetrum striolatum (m, f)

 

 

 

 

                                         COMMON DARTER DRAGONFLIES Sympetrum striolatum (m, f)

 

 

 

 

                                         COMMON DARTER DRAGONFLIES Sympetrum striolatum (m, f)

 

 

 

 

 

                                         COMMON DARTER DRAGONFLIES Sympetrum striolatum (m, f)

 

 

 

 

         The Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum is one of the most abundant, widespread and familiar of British dragonflies. This insect is one of several similar members of the same genus to be found in Europe. Probably the most likely confusion in the UK will be with the Ruddy Darter S. sanguineum (illustrated elsewhere on these pages) although the latter is absent from the North. Male Ruddy Darters have more conspicuously tapered (club-shaped) abdomens, they are a deeper shade of red (when fully mature) and their legs are completely black without any yellow stripes (see photographs above illustrating these in Common Darters). There is also minimal yellow clouding of the wing-bases of Common Darters. Females and teneral (fresh) insects can be trickier to separate but in this case leg colour is particularly useful. There are also significant differences between the black facial markings of Sympetrum species but these are unlikely to be seen clearly unless a dragonfly is photographed in close-up or captured. Common Darters have a long flight period and if conditions are favourable a few of the hardier individuals may remain active until late November or December.

 

 

 

 

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David Element