Status and distribution
The scarlet dragonfly is a common species in southern Europe and throughout Africa. It also occurs across western Asia as far as southern China. It is a very rare vagrant in Britain. Its first record in the country was at Hayle Kimbro Pool, The Lizard, Cornwall, on 7 August 1995. Since then there have been a few further records at scattered locations throughout Britain.
A wide range of both running and standing waters, except those that are shaded. Adults may be found some distance from water in habitats ranging from desert to open woodland; absent from dense forest.
Crocothemis erythraea can reach a length of 33–44 millimetres (1.3–1.7 in). These dragonflies haves a flattened and rather broad abdomen. The adult male scarlet dragonfly has a bright scarlet red, widened abdomen, with small amber patches at the bases of the hindwings. Also the veins on the leading edges of the wings are red. Females and immatures are yellow-brown and have a conspicuous pale stripe along the top of the thorax.
Adults fly from mid-June to early September (in UK).
- V. Clausnitzer (2013). "Crocothemis erythraea". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
- Jones, S. P. (1996). The first British record of the Scarlet Dragonfly Crocothemis erythraea (Brullé). Journal of the British Dragonfly Society Vol. 12 No. 1 pp. 11-12
- Dijkstra, K.-D.B.; Clausnitzer, V. (2014). The dragonflies and damselflies of eastern Africa. Tervuren: Royal Museum for Central Africa. ISBN 978-94-916-1506-1.
- "Scarlet Darter". British Dragonfly Society. Retrieved 12 August 2011.