Banded darter (dragonfly)
(Mueller in Allioni, 1776)
Males of the banded darter, like most members of the genus, have a red abdomen. The species' primary distinguishing feature however is the presence, in both sexes, of broad black bands across the outer section of each wing. It is similar in size to the black darter (Sympetrum danae) (35-40mm), sharing the broad hindwings and black legs.
The weak, low, fluttering flight is not unlike that of a black darter, but it perches frequently on the tips of rush stems rather than on the ground. It is a surprisingly inconspicuous species.
This species is resident in continental Europe. Its main breeding range is south-eastern, especially at medium altitudes, although it appears to be spreading westwards.
Vagrancy to Britain
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