Highland Darter Dragonfly - Western Isles - Hebrides Insects

Highland Darter Dragonfly at Balallan - Isle of Lewis - Western Isles

HIghland Darter Dragonfly - Western Isles
Sympetrum nigrescens Lucas

The highland darter -sympetrum nigrescens Lucasis, the smallest of the Scotland's Dragonflies.

This beautiful dragonfly can frequently be seen in The Western Isles, There is some debate as to whether they are in fact a separate species or if they are a melanic form of the common darter. The latest DNA research states that these are not actually a separate species but a dark morph of Sympetrum striolatum (Common Darter), the darker colouring benefiting survival in a colder, northern climate.

Highland Darter Dragonfly - Description
This dragonfly looks very similar to the common darter, the centre side panel of thorax encloses two/three paler “windows”.

There is black on frons extends further along eye margins than typical S. striolatum and the side of the abdomen has extensive areas of black.

Legs Can be Completely Black
The legs can be almost completely black as opposed to with yellow stripes in typical S. striolatum. Males have an orange/ red abdomen and older females are likely to be red.

Black Darter Dragonflies Mating
Click pictures below for larger photographs
Highland Darter Dragonfly-Western Isles Insect Sightings
Size - Highland Darter
Length: 31 - 37mm - Wingspan up to 55mm Behaviour The wings spread nearly horizontally in resting position

This dragonfly is very active late summer liking bogs and wet damp marshy areas.

Dragonflies are really beautiful insects which capture the essence of summer.

Intricate Aerobatics
They act out for you their intricate aerobatics and its a pleasure to watch their behaviour.


How fast do dragonflies fly? How long does a dragonfly live? Related to the Fly or not? What does a dragonfly eat? Remarkable eyesight of a dragonfly?

Click Here To read Dragonfly & Damselflies Facts and View Other Western Isles Species

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