Sympetrum danae Libellulidae Black Darter

Biology male female Irish distribution

Sympetrum danae

Locally common and widespread. A late flying species which can be seen from July to the end of October. This small darter is found on heaths and lowland. It is rare in upland sites. The recorded distribution indicates it is absent from most of the south and east and strangely also there are few records from the Irish midlands and south west.

Mature males are the only black darter to occur in Ireland and are therefore easy to identify. The emerald dragonflies, Cordulia aenea and Somatochlora arctica can sometimes look blackish but they can easily be distinguished by their behaviour, emeralds rarely perch and when they do they hang from vegetation rather than perching on it. Females and immature males are similar to other Darters but are relatively smaller, with all-black legs, a black triangle on top of the thorax and a black stripe with a row of three yellow spots on it on the side of the thorax.


Nelson, B., Thompson, R. & Morrow, C., 2000 (Aug 22). [In] DragonflyIreland

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