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UK Nature  > Dragonflies  > Sympetrum sanguineum

Scientific Name:   Sympetrum sanguineum
Common Name:   Ruddy Darter

Sympetrum sanguineum, more commonly known as the Ruddy Darter, specialises in well vegetated ponds, lakes, canals etc., frequently in woodlands. Will tolerate acidic waters. Most common in south-east England and central Ireland but increasing its range.

May be confused with other Darter species, the most common other species being the Common Darter. The Ruddy Darter can be distinguished by: 1. Black legs 2. Black line marking extends part way down the side on the frons (face) 3. Male: blood-red coloration and club-shaped abdomen 4. Female: abdomen ochre-yellow with black markings; not club-shaped.

Away from the water both sexes usually perch in a tree or bush facing out over open space where they can scan for prey. They will usually return to the same perch after chasing prey or seeing off a rival.
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