Ruddy Darter (Sympetrum sanguineum)

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Family Libellulidae

Flight . Adults can be seen between mid June and September

Size Wingspan 2 1/4 " 54 mm


The male Ruddy Darter is a striking blood-red insect. The legs are black and the eyes dark red. The abdomen has a slight waist (hour-glass figure) around the fourth segment. The female is a less striking greeny-brown colour sometimes developing red lines along the segment boundaries with age. In sizeit is a realtivelty small dragonfly and is often seen hunting hedges near wateror along rides or .

The mature males have noticeably a narrowly waisted blood-red abdomen
Females dull yellow brown and no waist
In both sexes the legs are legs black

Image With Thanks Copyright (C) Chris Webster 2007


The Ruddy Darter is found in fens, cutover bogs, dykes , marshes and small lakes


Similar Species

This species is most likely to be confused with the Red-veined Darter Sympetrum fonscolombei and the Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum however the latter is more orange-red and has a straight sided abdomen and yellow stripes on the legs.

Similarity is observed between Female Ruddy Darters and Black Darters Sympetrum danae however in the Ruddy Darter there is no black triangular marking on the thorax.