Ruddy Darter

Sympetrum sanguineum


Over all length 34 - 39mm. The male is bright red with a slightly waisted abdomen. The female is dull yellow with a thin black line down her abdomen. The legs of both sexes are completely black. In the mature male the frons (face) is red. Females and immatures have a black T -shaped mark at the top of the thorax.


It likes well vegetated water bodies, often close to woodland. Can be found at the reserve along the Ouse Dyke and smaller water bodies. It likes to bask along sheltered hedgerows such as the Boundary Hedge.

Status and distribution

Commonest in the south and south-east but extending its range northwards. Not as common as the Common Darter, Sympetrum striolata, on the reserve but still  not an uncommon sight, basking on nettles or other vegetation.

Best time to see

Late June to September.