Juvenile Common Darter Dragonfly (Sympetrum striolatum)
Contributor:John Porter LRPS / Alamy Stock Photo
File size:34.8 MB (848.4 KB Compressed download)
Releases:Model - no | Property - noDo I need a release?
Dimensions:4029 x 3022 px | 34.1 x 25.6 cm | 13.4 x 10.1 inches | 300dpi
Date taken:10 September 2014
Location:Leighton Moss, Carnforth
A summer and autumn species, this dragonfly can be found well into November and may be one of the last on the wing in the UK. The thorax in both sexes is brown above with poorly defined antehumeral stripes and yellow panels on the sides. The eyes are brown above and yellow below. The legs are black with a diagnostic yellow stripe along their length. The males become a bright orange-red with maturity with small black spots on S8 and S9. Females have a pale, yellowish-brown abdomen often developing red markings along the segment boundaries and medial line as they age. The Common Darter is usually found in ponds and other still, stagnant or even brackish waters and is frequently found at small garden ponds. They are frequently found away from water, resting on the tops of plants in woodland rides. In suitable hunting areas away from water, however, they are not territorial: large numbers may assemble - groups of several hundred in a single field have been recorded - and lines of insects can be seen along the top of field gates. Eggs are not laid, but broadcast from the air: the male holds the female in tandem and swings her down and forward over water at a height of around 40 cm. At the furthest point of the arc the female releases some of her eggs to fall on the water.