Sympetrum striolatum (NL: Bruinrode heidelibel / EN: Common Darter / DE: Große Heidelibelle / FR: Sympétrum strié) is a dragonfly of the family Libellulidae native to Eurasia. It is one of the most common dragonflies in Europe, occurring in a wide variety of water bodies, though with a preference for breeding in still water such as ponds and lakes. In the south of its range adults are on the wing all year round. Sympetrum species are not easy to tell apart and in most areas more than one Sympetrum species will occur. Females and Teneral individuals have light yellow thorax and abdomen. Males (left in the image) turn red as they mature. Females darken with age, becoming a dark chocolate brown, and sometimes develop a blue colouration to the bottom of the abdomen (see image !). The wings also develop a brown tinge with age. In all cases the legs have a cream or yellow stripe on a black background - this is a diagnostic feature of this species.
Image: Schilde (BE) – 27/08/2012
© Johan Dierckx
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