Sympetrum – Darters – Meadowhawks (NA)
130. Black Darter – Sympetrum danae – Danes Moss, UK – European Dragonfly photo
The Black Darter (Sympetrum danae) is a Sympetrum species which has an extensive range from North America (Black Meadowhawk) to Japan and is common on northern acidic bogs.
Males change colouration radically from being largely yellow with some black markings in the freshly emerged insect to being almost fully black as an adult. This can cause some confusion in identification by beginners as I found many years ago. Photographs 4-6 show the gradual change from predominantly yellow to increasingly black. On the sides of the thorax a wide black band contains three yellow spots. The legs and the pterostigma are also black. It is a relatively late species to emerge.
Females have yellow bodies with the sides becoming black with maturity. There is a black triangle on the thorax.