Sympetrum sanguineum | Ruddy Darter | Sciobaire Cosdubh



Conservation status

Ireland: Least Concern

EU: Least Concern

There is no evidence of any significant change in its distribution.

Native status


Species Biology


Length: 3.4cm

Wingspan: 5.5cm

Both sexes have clear wings with a light brown wing spot, a yellow patch at the base and black legs. They both also have black markings on segment 8 and 9 of the abdomen. Males have a waisted abdomen, they start out golden yellow but turn blood-red when mature and have a reddish-brown thorax.

Mature females have an unwaisted golden yellow abdomen with a black stripe down the centre.

Adult habitat & habits

Flight is typically short and bouncy. Likes to perch on waterside vegetation. They’re not territorial.


Prefers well vegetated (emergent plants), small and shallow ponds, bog pools, lakes turloughs, canals and ditches. Generally avoids acidic and fast running water, although sometimes breeds in dense vegetation of slow-flowing sections of a river.

Flight period

June to September (occasionally May and/or October)


World distribution(GBIF)

Irish distribution

Widespread throughout Ireland although quite sparse in the south west and absent from large areas up north.

Temporal change

Records submitted to Data Centre in 2024

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