Description male female larva Irish distribution

Sympetrum danae

Sympetrum danae (Sulzer, 1776)


Common name: Black Darter

Preferred environment: oligotrophic pools and small lakes on bogs and heaths

Flight period: end of June until October. In Ireland July to mid October

Adult habitat and habits: males are non-territorial and pairing and copulation takes place away from breeding site. Pairs arrive in tandem at breeding site.

Oviposition site and behaviour: oviposits in tandem or female alone. Females dips abdomen into wet peat/soil or mosses.

Larval habitat and habits: eggs diapause until spring and complete lifecycle in one season, Larvae live amongst Sphagnum mosses.

Range: central and northern Europe, northern Asia to Japan and North America. Occurs as far south as the French Pyrenees and north to the Arctic Circle in northern Scandinavia. In Ireland widespread in north and west. Very local south of a line from Galway to Dublin.

Determination of adults: species is keyed and female abdominal appendages are figured in Askew (1988); mature adults are illustrated in colour in Askew (1988) and Brooks (1997).

Determination of larvae: keys to mature larvae in Askew (1988) and Brooks (1997). Photograph of mature larva in Brooks (1997).


Nelson, B., Thompson, R. & Morrow, C., 2000 (May 2). [In] DragonflyIreland http://www.ulstermuseum.org.uk/dragonflyireland/


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