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Sympetrum striolatum (Common Darter / Bacakları Çizgili Teyyareböceği)

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Sympetrum striolatum (Common Darter / Bacakları Çizgili Teyyareböceği)


Sympetrum striolatum (Common Darter / Bacakları Çizgili Teyyareböceği) [Male/Erkek] from Vize, Kırklareli -16.07.2009.

The Common Darter is a dragonfly of the family Libellulidae native to Eurasia. It is one of the most common dragonflies in Europe, occurring in a wide variety of water bodies, though with a preference for breeding in still water such as ponds and lakes. Adults are on the wing from June until November - occasionally into December.

Females and teneral (freshly emerged) individuals have light yellow thorax and abdomen. Males turn red as they mature. Females darken with age, becoming a dark chocolate brown, and sometimes develop a blue colouration to the bottom of the abdomen. The wings also develop a brown tinge with age. In all cases the legs have a cream or yellow stripe on a black background - this is a diagnostic feature of this species.

This small Dragonfly is seen in a wide variety of habitats, including lakes, ponds, canals and slow-flowing rivers. They are ambush predators, waiting on a prominent perch - such as a leaf or the top of a gate, until prey fly past, whereupon they will fly after it. They are territorial on breeding waters, often attempting to chase much bigger Dragonflies away such as Southern Hawkers (Aeshna cyanea). This habit of repeatedly returning to a sunny spot allows you to easily predict where they are going to land, which is why it is one of the easiest dragonflies to photograph.

In suitable hunting areas away from water, however, they are not territorial: large numbers may assemble - groups of several hundred in a single field have been recorded - and lines of insects can be seen along the top of field gates. Eggs are not laid, but broadcast from the air: the male holds the female in tandem and swings her down and forward over water at a height of around 40cm. At the furthest point of the arc the female releases some of her eggs to fall on the water.

Reference: 1. Chinery, M. (1986). Collins Guide to the Insects of Britain and Western Europe, Collins, Glasgow, 320 pp. 2. Dijkstra K.-D. (2006). Field Guide to the Dragonflies of Britain and Europe including Western Turkey and noth-Western Africa. British Wildlife Publishing, Dorset, UK. 320 pp. 3. Wikipedia.

Author Bayram GÖÇMEN
Created on Thursday 16 July 2009
Posted on Friday 15 July 2011
Tags Kırklareli, TURKEY / TÜRKİYE
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