All featured images were taken by and remain the property of Chris Brooks

The narrative was kindly written
 and supplied by
Mr Ken Crick

Black Darter (Sympetrum danae)

A Species Narrative by Ken Crick

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Welcome to my new style narrative, the content of which has been kindly written and supplied by Ken Crick. The narrative is intended to give an insight into the life cycle and characteristics of the featured species.

Size: - Approximate Length 32m - Wing Span 47mm
Male: - (see above) This small darter is almost entirely black along its upper surface. The central black band on the thorax flank encloses three yellow spots.

There are yellow markings on the flanks of the thorax and abdomen. Abdominal segments 3 to 5 contract and expand to form a club-like appearance. As the males age the yellow markings darken, very old males being all black.  

Female: - The female (see below) is predominantly yellow with a black underbody. The upper surface of the thorax is centrally marked with a black isosceles triangle, the base of which is just behind the eyes. The base of the each wing has a small area suffused with saffron.

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Status: - Can be locally abundant, with a migratory habit. Widespread in the uplands of northern and western Britain and Eire; more locally confined within lowland heaths. Individuals may turn up almost anywhere during highly productive seasons.

Habitat: - Heathland and moors with bog pools, runnels, cuttings, margins of peaty ponds and lakes supporting bog moss, rushes and sedges.

Flight period: - Mid July to mid September.

General: - Males are not territorial and skit about actively seeking females. Before noon males will search out willing mates away from water and bring the female in tandem to the breeding site.

Copulation takes about 5 minutes. Females lay eggs in tandem with males or alone, the eggs are flicked onto any suitable surface whilst in flight.

The narrative was kindly written and supplied by Ken Crick

All featured images were taken by and remain the property of Chris Brooks

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