NorfolkGreg's picture

Darter - But What Kind?

Observed: 29th August 2013 By: NorfolkGregNorfolkGreg’s reputation in InvertebratesNorfolkGreg’s reputation in Invertebrates

This dragonfly was patrolling the lake for 15 minutes of my observation and frequently landing on the adjacent decking for a few moments.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


jccurd's picture


Generally, the most reliable way to distinguish Common Darters from Ruddy Darter (both sexes) is by the legs - Ruddy Darters have all black legs whereas Common Darters legs have a light stripe running down them. Unfortunately, this picture doesn't show the legs clearly enough.

The extent of the black around the frons (front of the face) is also diagnostic but, again, that can't be seen here.

The Common Darter male's colouration is often more of an orangey-red than the blood red of the Ruddy Darter male. The male Ruddy Darter's abdomen is also noticeably clubbed towards the anal appendages. Your specimen looks a little orange and does not appear clubbed, so I think that Common Darter is correct.