Sympetrum fonscolombii | Red-veined Darter | Sciobaire Deargfhéitheach



Conservation status

Ireland: Not Assessed

EU: Least Concern

Native status

Irregular and rare migrant

Species Biology


Length: 38-40mm                                                                                                                                                                                     

Wingspan: 58mm                                                                                                                                                                                  

Mature males are blood red in colour, unwaisted abdomen. Colour intensifies as the male matures. Face is red and sides of the thorax can be blue-grey and yellow. The wings have a pale red/yellow-orange pterostigma and are outlined in black. Both sexes have bicoloured eyes, reddish-brown on top and blue on the underside.

Females have a yellow abdomen with two black lines either side, their wing veins are yellow. Male wing veins are red. Immature males are similar to females but only have a single black line either side of abdomen.

Adult habitat & habits

Territorial dragonfly. Fast flyer, can reach up to 56km per hour.


In Ireland adults have been seen in coastal wetlands e.g. small sand dune pools, flooded sandpits and densely vegetated marshes with reed beds. Its preferred habitat is an exposed, sunny shallow standing water body with sparse emergent and marginal vegetation.

Flight period

June to October, sometimes May, and/or early November  

Life cycle

Larvae are short and squat with long legs that stretch beyond the end of the abdomen. They develop and emerge within the same year. 


World distribution(GBIF)

Temporal change

Records submitted to Data Centre in 2024

The following map is interactive. If you would prefer to view it full screen then click here.