Red-veined darter

The red-veined darter or nomad[2] (Sympetrum fonscolombii) is a dragonfly of the genus Sympetrum.[3]

Sympetrum fonscolombii
Darter August 2007-20
Libellulidae - Sympetrum fonscolombii (female)
Scientific classification
S. fonscolombii
Binomial name
Sympetrum fonscolombii
(Selys, 1840)

Sympetrum fonscolombei Selys, 1840


There is genetic and behavioural evidence that S. fonscolombii is not closely related to the other members of the genus Sympetrum and it will at some time in the future be removed from this genus.


Sympetrum fonscolombii was named under the protonym Libellula fonscolombii by the Belgian entomologist Edmond de Sélys Longchamps, in 1840, in honor of the French entomologist Étienne of Fonscolombe (hence the species name).[4] Its name is sometimes spelt fonscolombei instead of fonscolombii but Askew (2004) gives the latter as the correct spelling.


Sympetrum fonscolombii is a widespread and common species in much of central and southern Europe including most Mediterranean islands, North Africa, the Middle East, Mongolia, south-western Asia, including the Indian Subcontinent,[5] the Indian Ocean Islands and Sri Lanka.[1] In Europe it is resident in the south of its range but in some years it migrates northward. From the 1990s onwards has increasingly been found in northwest Europe, including Belgium, Sweden, Finland, Poland, Britain and Ireland. It is the only Libellulidae to be found in the Azores and it is also found on the Canary Islands and Madeira.[1]


It breeds in a wide range of habitats including marshes, lakes, ponds, permanent and seasonal rivers.[6][7] It is able to recolonize dry areas after a rainfall.[1]


Sympetrum fonscolombii can reach a body length of 38–40 millimetres (1.5–1.6 in).[8] This species is similar to other Sympetrum species but a good view with binoculars should give a positive identification, especially with a male.

Males have a red abdomen,[8] redder than many other Sympetrum species. The frons and the thorax are red-brown. The eyes are brown above and blue/grey below.[8] The wings have red veins and the wing bases of the hind-wings are yellow.[8] The pterostigma is pale yellow with a border of black veins.[8][6]

Female are similar but the abdomen is ochre yellow,[8] not red, with two black lines along each side.[8] The wings have yellow veins at the costa, leading edge and base, not red veins as found in the males.[8] The legs of both sexes are mostly black with some yellow.[6]

Immature males are like females but often with more red and a single line along each side of the abdomen.

Male S. fonscolombii can be mistaken for Crocothemis erythraea as both are very red dragonflies with yellow bases to the wings, red veins and pale pterostigma. However C. erythraea has no black on the legs, a broader body and no black on the head. Also C. erythraea females do not oviposit in tandem. The jizz of these two species is different and with some experience are easy to tell apart.

Darter August 2007-19

Female red-veined darter

Darter August 2007-25

Head of female showing blue/grey underside of eyes and black and yellow legs

Red veined darter pterostigma

Pale pterostigma with border of black veins


Immature male

Darter August 2007-18

Male showing some red on abdomen

Darter August 2007-1

Mature male

Biology and behaviour

Sympetrum fonscolombii can be seen on the wing throughout the year around the Mediterranean and in the south of its range, however, its main flight period is May to October[8] and it is scarce during the winter months. It is a territorial species with the males often sitting on an exposed perch.

After copulation the pair stay in tandem for egg laying and pairs can be seen over open water with the female dipping her abdomen into the water depositing eggs. Pairs are known to fly over the sea in tandem dipping into the salt water where the eggs soon perish. The eggs and larvae develop within a few months and S. fonscolombii unlike most other European dragonflies has more than one generation a year. Some larvae overwinter.

Sympetrum fonscolombii qtl7c

Mating wheel

Red-veined darter

The pair stay in tandem for egg laying


  1. ^ a b c d Clausnitzer, V. (2013). "Sympetrum fonscolombii". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2013: e.T60038A17538409. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2013-1.RLTS.T60038A17538409.en. Retrieved 17 February 2017.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  2. ^ Samways, Michael J. (2008). Dragonflies and damselflies of South Africa (1st ed.). Sofia: Pensoft. ISBN 9546423300.
  3. ^ Martin Schorr; Dennis Paulson. "World Odonata List". University of Puget Sound. Retrieved 12 Oct 2018.
  4. ^ Sélys-Longchamps, de, E. 1840. Monographie des libellulidées d'Europe. Libellula fonscolombii p. 39, Librairie Roret, 220 pages, Paris
  5. ^ K.A., Subramanian; K.G., Emiliyamma; R., Babu; C., Radhakrishnan; S.S., Talmale (2018). Atlas of Odonata (Insecta) of the Western Ghats, India. Zoological Survey of India. pp. 376–377. ISBN 9788181714954.
  6. ^ a b c C FC Lt. Fraser (1936). The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma, Odonata Vol. III. Red Lion Court, Fleet Street, London: Taylor and Francis. pp. 377–379.
  7. ^ C FC Lt. Fraser (1924). A Survey of the Odonate (Dragonfly) Fauna of Western India and Descriptions of Thirty New Species (PDF). pp. 438–439.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i British Dragonfly Society
  • Askew, R.R. (2004) The Dragonflies of Europe. (revised ed.) Harley Books.pp180 and 213 . ISBN 0-946589-75-5
  • Boudot JP., et al. (2009) Atlas of the Odonata of the Mediterranean and North Africa. Libellula Supplement 9:1-256.
  • Dijkstra, K-D.B & Lewington, R. (2006) Field Guide to the Dragonflies of Britain and Europe. British Wildlife Publishing. ISBN 0-9531399-4-8.

External links

Annet, Isles of Scilly

Annet (Cornish: Anet, kittiwake) is the second largest of the fifty or so uninhabited Isles of Scilly, 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) west of St Agnes with a length of 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) and approximately 22 hectares (54 acres) in area. The low-lying island is almost divided in two by a narrow neck of land at West Porth which can, at times, be covered by waves. At the northern end of the island are the two granite carns of Annet Head and Carn Irish and three smaller carns known as the Haycocks. The rocky outcrops on the southern side of the island, such as South Carn, are smaller. Annet is a bird sanctuary and the main seabird breeding site in Scilly.The island is closed to the public from 15 April to 20 August every year to limit the disturbance to the breeding seabirds for which it has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). It is also within part of the Isles of Scilly Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), Isles of Scilly Heritage Coast and part of Plantlife’s, Isles of Scilly Important Plant Area The island is managed by the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust who lease it from the Duchy of Cornwall.

Biota of the Isle of Man

This is a list of the known wild biota of the Isle of Man.

Non-native species are marked *, extinct species are marked †. If this status is uncertain the species is also marked ?.

Each listing follows the following format: English name (where one exists), binomial/trinomial scientific name with authorities for uncommon species, Manx name (where one exists), status.

Blakeney Point

Blakeney Point (designated as Blakeney National Nature Reserve) is a National Nature Reserve situated near to the villages of Blakeney, Morston and Cley next the Sea on the north coast of Norfolk, England. Its main feature is a 6.4 km (4 mi) spit of shingle and sand dunes, but the reserve also includes salt marshes, tidal mudflats and reclaimed farmland. It has been managed by the National Trust since 1912, and lies within the North Norfolk Coast Site of Special Scientific Interest, which is additionally protected through Natura 2000, Special Protection Area (SPA), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Ramsar listings. The reserve is part of both an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), and a World Biosphere Reserve. The Point has been studied for more than a century, following pioneering ecological studies by botanist Francis Wall Oliver and a bird ringing programme initiated by ornithologist Emma Turner.

The area has a long history of human occupation; ruins of a medieval monastery and "Blakeney Chapel" (probably a domestic dwelling) are buried in the marshes. The towns sheltered by the shingle spit were once important harbours, but land reclamation schemes starting in the 17th century resulted in the silting up of the river channels. The reserve is important for breeding birds, especially terns, and its location makes it a major site for migrating birds in autumn. Up to 500 seals may gather at the end of the spit, and its sand and shingle hold a number of specialised invertebrates and plants, including the edible samphire, or "sea asparagus".

The many visitors who come to birdwatch, sail or for other outdoor recreations are important to the local economy, but the land-based activities jeopardize nesting birds and fragile habitats, especially the dunes. Some access restrictions on humans and dogs help to reduce the adverse effects, and trips to see the seals are usually undertaken by boat. The spit is a dynamic structure, gradually moving towards the coast and extending to the west. Land is lost to the sea as the spit rolls forward. The River Glaven can become blocked by the advancing shingle and cause flooding of Cley village, Cley Marshes nature reserve, and the environmentally important reclaimed grazing pastures, so the river has to be realigned every few decades.


Blindwells is a place in East Lothian, Scotland. Etymology "hidden" "springs"

A former open-cast coal mine north of Tranent on the north-east side of the A1, just east of the Prestonpans/Tranent junction, adjacent to the estates of the Earl of Wemyss and March. As of plans in 2010 it is intended that the Blindwells settlement will consist of around 1,600 houses, and is part of East Lothian's planned 4,800 house total. The settlement would include its own community centre, pre-school facility, primary and secondary schools and commercial aspects. Though the planned 1,600 houses implies a smaller development than the Scottish New Towns created in the sixties this could be expanded to accommodate another 2,500 to 3,000 houses in the future, for which a total of 130 hectares are earmarked.

Older maps also show a cluster of buildings at Riggonhead, on the bank to the south-east of the main pond, at NT416752, but all that remains there now are earth mounds which are frequently used by scrambler bikes.

A series of man-made earth embankments were constructed for the purpose of settlement tests, to demonstrate that the site is stable enough to be built on.

There has long been a pool on the northern part of the site and this has attracted some birds as it is currently one of the few standing open waters in East Lothian. Waterbirds regularly seen here include mute swan*, mallard*, common teal, wigeon, tufted duck, little grebe*, moorhen* and coot* (* confirmed breeding since 2008 ). Gadwall also bred in 2012 with two broods seen in 2014 and a further expansion since. Regular counts are undertaken for BTO Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) monitoring. Other characteristic birds of the site include grey partridge*, common kestrel, common buzzard, stock dove, skylark*, common grasshopper warbler, sedge warbler*, tree sparrow, reed bunting* and yellowhammer*, with altogether 29 species confirmed to breed in the period 2008-2013, with 17 "probable" breeders and a further 9 "possible" breeders (using BTO Atlas classifications ). Scarcer species recorded include little egret, common shelduck, garganey, northern shoveler, greater scaup, smew (drake plus 3 redheads, Feb 2012), marsh harrier (occasional extended presence), hen harrier (18 November 2014), merlin, common quail, a total of 18 species of wading bird including little ringed plover, wood sandpiper, green sandpiper, spotted redshank, black-tailed godwit and bar-tailed godwit, also short-eared owl, barn owl, cuckoo, kingfisher, lesser whitethroat, garden warbler and water pipit (15 March 2015); long-eared owls bred on the perimeter of the site in 2017. There is rich insect fauna too with nine species of dragonfly and damselfly having been recorded including the rare Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) (2nd record for Lothian) and Black Darter (Sympetrum danae), together with common breeding species Emerald Damselfly (Lestes sponsa), Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella), Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum), Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans), and scarcer breeders Common Hawker (Aeshna juncea), Four-spotted Chaser(Libellula quadrimaculata) and Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum). There is a colony of grayling and narrow-bordered five-spot burnet moth, which is currently on the edge of its UK range in this part of Scotland (photo, right).. The pond supported abundant amphibians, including smooth newt, attracting Grey Herons.

The main pond, a precious habitat for the above species, was completely eliminated by earthworks for the new settlement in the fourth week of August 2018, ending one of the best wildlife sites in the local area.

Fauna of the Isles of Scilly

The Isles of Scilly are an archipelago 45 km (28 mi) off Land's End, Cornwall. Little of the fauna on, above or in the seas surrounding the isles was described prior to the 19th century, when birds and fish started to be described. Most records of other animals date from the 20th century onwards.

List of Canadian dragonflies

This is a list of dragonflies (Odonata) of Canada.

List of Odonata species of Great Britain

There are 57 recorded species of Odonata in Britain, made up of 21 damselflies (suborder Zygoptera) and 36 dragonflies (suborder Anisoptera). Of these, 42 species (17 damselflies and 25 dragonflies) are resident breeders, and the remainder are either extinct species, or vagrants - in respect of the latter, this list follows the decisions of the Odonata Records Committee.

Some of these rare species have not been seen since the 19th Century; however, the British Odonata list is also currently undergoing a period of unprecedented change, as new species are being discovered for the first time, some going on to become breeding species.

This list is based on the following principal references:

Merritt, R., N. W. Moore and B. C. Eversham (1996), Atlas of the dragonflies of Britain and Ireland, HMSO (ISBN 0-11-701561-X)

Parr, A. J. (1996), Dragonfly movement and migration in Britain and Ireland, Journal of the British Dragonfly Society Vol. 12 No. 2 pp. 33–50

Parr, Adrian (2000a), An Annotated List of the Odonata of Britain and Ireland, Atropos No. 11 pp. 10–20 A number of other references were used to provide information on specific topics, including rare vagrants, post-1990 additions, predictions, species claimed but not accepted / species of uncertain provenance, non-natives, taxonomic matters and species found only in the Channel Islands.

Ireland's Odonata fauna is quite different from that of Britain, with many fewer breeding species, but one additional species not found in Britain, Irish Damselfly Coenagrion lunulatum – see List of Odonata species of Ireland for more information.

List of Odonata species of Ireland

The following is a list of Odonata species recorded in Ireland. Common names are those given in the standard literature; where a different name has been given in The Natural History of Ireland's Dragonflies, this is given in brackets.

List of Wild Kratts episodes

This is a list of episodes for the series Wild Kratts. Some episodes focus on an environmental problem, while other episodes have a villain who specializes in exacerbating one such problem.

List of dragonflies of Menorca

Menorca is a small island in the Mediterranean Sea belonging to Spain. Along with Majorca, Ibiza, and Formentera it is part of the Balearic Islands. It has a population of approximately 88,000. It is located 39°47' to 40°00'N, 3°52' to 4°24'E. It is a dry island without many wetlands or river systems; many of the wetlands in Menorca were drained to provide agricultural land. Despite this dragonflies are abundant on Menorca and in summer any pool of water will be alive with them. The best months to see dragonflies are May to September.

The taxonomy follows that of Dijkstra, K-D.B & Lewington, R. (2006).

List of least concern arthropods

As of July 2016, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists 4069 least concern arthropod species. 43% of all evaluated arthropod species are listed as least concern.

The IUCN also lists 27 arthropod subspecies as least concern.

No subpopulations of arthropods have been evaluated by the IUCN.

This is a complete list of least concern arthropod species and subspecies as evaluated by the IUCN.

List of least concern insects

As of July 2016, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists 2843 least concern insect species. 47% of all evaluated insect species are listed as least concern.

The IUCN also lists 12 insect subspecies as least concern.

No subpopulations of insects have been evaluated by the IUCN.

This is a complete list of least concern insect species and subspecies as evaluated by the IUCN.


The pterostigma (plural: pterostigmata) is a group of specialized cells in the outer wings of insects, which is often thickened or coloured, and thus stands out from other cells. It is particularly noticeable in dragonflies, but present also in other insect groups, such as snakeflies, hymenopterans and megalopterans.

The purpose of the pterostigma, being a heavier section of the wing in comparison to nearby sections, is to assist in gliding. Without the pterostigma, self-exciting vibrations would set in on the wing after a certain critical speed, making gliding impossible. Tests show that with the pterostigma, the critical gliding speed is increased 10–25% on one species of dragonfly.Some female damselflies in the family Calopterygidae possess a feature known as a pseudopterostigma. This is similar in location on the wing to a true pterostigma but is crossed by veins and is only defined by its paler colour compared to surrounding areas of the wing.

River Glaven

The River Glaven in the eastern English county of Norfolk is 10½ miles long and flows through picturesque North Norfolk countryside to the North Sea. Rising from a tiny headwater in Bodham the river starts 2½ miles before Selbrigg Pond where three streams combine at the outfall. The scenic value of the Glaven valley is important to the tourist industry in North Norfolk. The River is also 15km long and is one of over 200 chalk rivers in the world and one of 160 in the UK.

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