136. Common Darter – Sympetrum striolatum – UK – European Dragonfly photo
The Common Darter ( Sympetrum striolatum ) is widespread and as common as its name implies. It is also migratory, sometimes in large numbers. It breeds in a range of different waters but seems to prefer those which are quite shallow and stagnant which consequently heat up. The Common Darter is often one of the first species to colonise newly created ponds in a similar way to the Broad-bodied Chaser – Libellula depressa.
KEY I/D FEATURES
Males when mature have abdomens which are less deeply red than others in the family and they are barely clubbed. The thorax has two small antehumeral stripes with two prominent yellow patches when seen from the side. These can be seen clearly in the first photo. The legs are black but with yellow on the tibiae and femora. Immature males are yellow.
Females are yellow which darkens considerably with age.