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Ruddy Darter

The Ruddy Darter (Sympetrum sanguinum) is a fairly common dragonfly, but is easily mistaken at first glance for a Common darter.
Picture of Ruddy Darter
Photo:A Brazil

Identification

The ruddy has a distinctly waisted abdomen, making the final few segments appear club-like, whilst the common has straight sides. The ruddy has all black legs, whilst the common has a cream stripe on the inside of each leg. The Ruddy also has a black line across the frons and down the sides of the eyes, while the common has the stripe only across the frons.

Without a doubt the best place to see this delightful insect is on the Pingo Trail at Thompson Common. Enter the trail from the car park at Stow Beddon (the entrance to the side of the car park through the trees, not the railway line), and walk to the first large field. In the centre is a large pond where you will find ruddies ovipositing around your feet from the minute you sit down. They are however a fairly common species, even being found in the heart of Norwich at Cow Tower!

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