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Ruddy Darter (Sympetrum sanguineum)

Favouring well vegetated still water in a variety of habitats, another species with a late but long period on the wing, from July to October. The male is quite striking and easily distinguished from the Common darter by the deep blood red colouration of the abdomen and the striking 'waisted' shape, immature males are yellow ochre. Females have a less 'waisted' appearance and can be tricky to separate. Both sexes have more black markings on the side of the abdomen than the Common Darter and have a black T on the top of the thorax. Another key identification pointer for Ruddy Darter is the all black legs .

A male showing the distinct body shape and deep red coloration, black marks on the side ....

Ruddy  Darter male VP 19 7 10 IMG_0586






A head on shot of the same male- note the black 'T' on the top of the thorax....

sbgallery Ruddy  Darter male VP 19 7 10 IMG_0579




The body shape, again quite distinctive in these two angles of a male at Berrington Pool ....

Ruddy Darter Berrington 10 7 10  IMG_2484




Another view, heavy black markings on the side of the abdomen.....

Ruddy Darter Berrington Pool 10 7 10  IMG_9856




I caught up with an immature male at Venus Pool, only a day or two on the wing. The structure is the same as adult male but the abdomen is ochre yellow ...

Ruddy darter immature male VP 9 7 17 FA1A9319




The female is also ochre yellow and note the 'T-shaped' dark mark on the thorax. The abdomen is much less 'waisted in shape than the male.....

Ruddy darter female VP 9 7 17 FA1A9292




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