132. Ruddy Darter – Sympetrum sanguineum – UK – European Dragonfly photo
The Ruddy Darter ( Sympetrum sanguineum ) was another species which made a rapid northerly extension of its range in the U K in the 1980’s and 90’s, being first discovered in my county of Cheshire on 25th July 1985. Here it favours field ponds and marl pits which are well vegetated with rushes, horsetail, reedmace and bur-reed. Where there are muddy edges they perch on the bare ground, particularly in cooler weather in order to benefit from any radiant heat. I particularly liked the perching ‘post’ in the first photograph.
KEY I/D FEATURES :
Adult males have a blood-red, clubbed abdomen, all black legs, a small yellow patch at the base of the hindwing and a red face. This helps distinguish them from the other ‘red’ Sympetrums. The overall deep red colouring is yellow in immature males.
Females have a yellow thorax and body which, viewed from the side, has black lines along the lower part of each segment.