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Black Darter

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A dragonfly of the Dorset heath favouring acidic boggy waters. It can be seen flying from July through until October.


Photograph by: 
Peter Orchard

Black Darter: darting here, darting there

Post date: Tuesday, 31 March, 2015 - 00:00

The black darter (Sympetrum danae) is a dragonfly of the heath and moorland; it favours acidic boggy waters and whether that be bog pools, ditches, or whatever does not seem to matter as long as sphagnum mosses are present. With this as its main habitat it is not surprising that the Dorset heaths are a good place to find this particular insect. It can be seen flying from July through until October.

It is a very active dragonfly, darting here and there around its patch. It is not one of the more territorial species, far more interested in looking a mate than a fight with another male. They rest in cool conditions on stones and bare ground and can even be found on warm cow pats as they try to acquire heat to enable them to become active.

The black darter is the smallest dragonfly found in Britain. The male is very handsome insect; black with yellow markings! That said, the female in her golden brown dress is pretty tasty too in my opinion, but then I like dragonflies!


The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail:

Sites List Distribution Map Some Charts Some Photographs Original Tweets Relatives Guidance Notes
Common Name Black Darter
Scientific Name Sympetrum danae
Interest Level
Species Family Dragonflies
Preferred Environment
Look for
Additional Identification Notes
Similar Species

This species is often found in these habitats:

Habitat(s) Relationship
H4: Valley Mire and Bog Indicator