Sympetrum danae m - © David Kitching
Black Darter Female
Sympetrum danae f (Side View) - © David Kitching
Sympetrum danae f obelisk - © David Kitching
Black Darter - superb close-up of head showing the individual cells of the eyes
sympetrum danae tandem - © David Kitching
Black Darter Exuvia (male, top view)
Click on images to enlarge
This small heathland and moorland species is the only UK black dragonfly (males). The legs are entirely black. There is a constriction of the abdomen around S4, giving a club-shaped appearence. The pterostigma is black.
The males become extensively black with maturity with a black frons and thorax. Some yellow markings remain along the sides of the abdomen and thorax.
Females and immature males have a yellow abdomen and brown thorax marked with a black triangle on top. The side of the thorax and the lower part of the abdomen is strongly marked in black.
A species of peat moss and moorland, breeding in ponds, bog pools and drainage ditches.
Status & Distribution
Widespread and can be abundant, especially in the north. Local in southern Ireland and eastern and central England.
The black males are unmistakeable but the females resemble other darters. The black panels on the sides and black triangle on the top of the thorax can help.