Common Darter
Sympetrum striolatum

The Common Darter is one of the last dragonfly’s to survive the season, often seen as late as early November. Often found perching very low to, or directly on, the ground, with a regular perch that will be returned to very quickly following a disturbance.

One of the easiest of all dragonfly species to photograph, allowing the photographer to get within a few inches of a perch (see perch technique).

Males are a dull red in colour, with a slightly ‘clubbed’ end to the abdomen. Females have a similar body shape yet are a fairly dull yellow in colouration.

   
locations media gallery

Common Darters can be found ubiquitously throughout Hampshire and Dorset, and their habitats include bog, stream borders, pond borders, forest walks and heathland.. just about every type of New Forest environment available.

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seasonal appearance distinguishing features

Easily mistakable for the Ruddy Darter, the male Common Darter has a dark orange / dull red colouration, with a slender abdomen centre section that broadens significantly toward the thorax. Females tend to have a heavier build with often quite drab yellowish or grey brown abdomen. Eyes are two tone brown and green, with a distinct yellow and black markings behind them.