Yellow-winged Darter

Sympetrum flaveolum

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Length: 32-37mm

Flight period: July to September (occasionally June)

This species is smaller than the Common Darter or Red-veined Darter. It has extensive pale orange colouration to the basal half of the wings and many wing veins. The bright red males and clear yellow-brown females are attractive. The eyes are brown above and yellow below. The pterostigma is red or brown strongly outlined in black, somewhat shorter than in most darters.

Male: becomes orange-red with maturity with a red frons and red-brown thorax.
Female: ochre yellow abdomen strongly marked with black along the lower half of each side.


Found in marginal vegetation along ditches, ponds and the still backwaters of rivers.

Status & Distribution

Irregular migrant but may occur in large numbers (1995, 2006). Has bred after major influxes (e.g. Chartley Moss, Staffordshire, in 1996), but colonies do not persist.

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Similar species

The various resident and migrant species of Darter in the UK are easily confused, the females being particularly difficult to tell apart.