The common darter is a small, narrow-bodied dragonfly which is on the wing from the end of June right through to October, or even November in a warm autumn. Male common darters are bright red while the females and immature adults are golden-brown. There are several similar-looking red darters which can be very difficult to tell apart.
This is a very common dragonfly, breeding in waterways including ponds, ditches, rivers and lakes. As their name suggests, common darters dart forward suddenly from a hovering position to catch their insect prey. They then take their catch to a favoured perch to eat it.
When to see
June – November
- In the late summer, common darters can be found almost everywhere, sat on twigs and fences and angling their wings towards the sun to warm up.