Common and widespread. Adults can be seen from mid June to the end of October. The records indicate this is the commonest and most widespread Sympetrum species in Ireland. It does however vary considerably in abundance from year to year. Favoured breeding sites include shallow pools and small lakes. It is a rapid coloniser of newly-created ponds. On the east coast there is evidence of immigration as it is frequently seen on coastal sites that have no suitable breeding areas.
This species is similar to the Ruddy Darter S. sanguineum however in the the Ruddy Darter the males are a deeper red, the abdomen is waisted and the legs are all black. It could also be confused with rarer migrant red Darters such as the Red-veined Darter S. fonscolombii or the Yellow-winged Darter S. flaveolum. However in the former the wing veins are red and in the latter there are extensive yellow patches at the base of the wings.
KEY IDENTIFICATION FEATURES
- mature males have orange-red unwaisted abdomen
- females dull yellow-brown
- legs with pale stripes
|Nelson, B., Thompson, R. & Morrow, C., 2000 (May 8). [In] DragonflyIreland http://www.ulstermuseum.org.uk/dragonflyireland/|
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