The Common Darter, as its name suggests can be found in large numbers throughout most of the United Kingdom. This Darter can be found on almost any body of water from ponds, rivers, lakes, seepages, ditches & even brackish / salty water pools.
It can be first seen in early July and can survive through to the first frosts of the autumn, usually in late October but occasionally later in the year. Usually it will be one of the last dragonflies you will see on the wing each season.
Mature males have a brick red abdomen which appears a far lighter colour than in its close relative the Ruddy Darter.
The Common Darter has lighter eyes and a light stripe along its legs. The Ruddy Darter has all black legs, this feature is perhaps the main key identifying feature between the two species.
The females do not exhibit red on their abdomens and can be between a grey and a yellow / beige colour. They may be easily confused with the immature male, the anal appendages will need close examination to determine the sexes from one another.