DragonflyPix

Moustached Darter (Sympetrum vulgatum)

• English name: Moustached Darter
• German name: Gemeine Heidelibelle
• French name: Sympétrum vulgaire
• Dutch name: Steenrode heidelibel
• Swedish name: Tegelröd ängstrollslända
• Norwegian name: Sørlig høstlibelle
• Finnish name: Punasyyskorento
• Danish name: Almindelig hedelibel
• Italian name: Cardinale boreale
• Czech name: vážka obecná
• Slovenian name: Navadni kamenjak
• Bulgarian name: Есенно червениче

Moustached Darter (Sympetrum vulgatum)

Not present
Present before 1990
Present after 1990

Present before and after 1990
Present after 2015

Distribution map Sympetrum vulgatum

Map data based on J.-P. Boudot & V. J. Kalkman (eds.),
Atlas of the European Dragonflies and Damselflies


General • a small species, common in central and eastern Europe; rare in the far north and the south
Classification • suborder: Anisoptera (dragonflies); family: Libellulidae
Conservation status • IUCN Red List Europe: Least Concern
Scientific name Sympetrum vulgatum (Linnaeus, 1758)
Distribution • click or tap the Map button above
Notes • libellulids are 'sitters': males spend a lot of time perched at the water's edge, waiting for females
  • all European Sympetrum species oviposit in tandem
Habitat • ponds and lakes
Dimensions • typical body length: 35-40 mm; hindwing: 24-29 mm
Both sexesHead➤ there is a black 'teardrop' along the edge of the eye
 Legs• the legs are black with a (reddish) yellow stripe on the tibia and femur
MaleThorax➤ the thorax is brown with, on the side, black lines but no bright yellow bands
 Abdomen• the abdomen is red (yellow in immature males) with black spots dorsally on S8-S9 and a thin black line along the bottom edge
  • the abdomen is not club-shaped
FemaleThorax• the thorax is yellow-brown with black lines on the side
 Abdomen• the abdomen bears two rows of small black spots laterally, with further black spots dorsally on S8-S9 and a thin black line along the bottom edge
  ➤ the large vulvar scale sits perpendicular to the abdomen
Photographs • nearly all of our photos below were made in Finland and Bavaria

Line DrawingLineDrawing: the male in lateral view, the male's head and thorax in lateral view, and the male's abdomen in dorsal view.

Sympetrum vulgatum; head
Note: this 'teardrop' is absent in S. striolatum.

Sympetrum striolatum (left) and S. vulgatum (right); thorax, male
Note the bright yellow bands in S. striolatum.
In S. vulgatum the pale yellow bands of immature males become red with age.

Sympetrum vulgatum; vulvar scale, female
Note: S. danae too has a large vulvar scale,
but her legs are all black.

Moustached Darter (Sympetrum vulgatum)
Male in lateral view
Drawing by Ruth Ilka Nüß
© 2013 Lehmann & Nüß and DragonflyPix.com

Moustached Darter (Sympetrum vulgatum)
Male head and thorax in lateral view
Drawing by Ruth Ilka Nüß
© 2013 Lehmann & Nüß and DragonflyPix.com

Moustached Darter (Sympetrum vulgatum)
Male abdomen in dorsal view
Drawing by Ruth Ilka Nüß
© 2013 Lehmann & Nüß and DragonflyPix.com

Click on a thumbnail to display the photograph (at 1200 x 800 pixels) in a new window.

Sympetrum vulgatum, thumbnail 1 / 20
Moustached Darter (Sympetrum vulgatum) ♂

1 / 20; PhotoID: Dr797 09/08/2019 13:30 Netherlands F8 1/100 180mm ISO400 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum vulgatum, thumbnail 2 / 20
Moustached Darter (Sympetrum vulgatum) ♀

2 / 20; PhotoID: Dr799 27/07/2018 16:28 Finland F8 1/200 180mm ISO200 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum vulgatum, thumbnail 3 / 20
Moustached Darter (Sympetrum vulgatum) ♂

3 / 20; PhotoID: Dr800 29/07/2018 16:24 Finland F8 1/200 180mm ISO400 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum vulgatum, thumbnail 4 / 20
Moustached Darter (Sympetrum vulgatum) ♀

4 / 20; PhotoID: Dr801 29/07/2018 16:33 Finland F8 1/640 180mm ISO400 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum vulgatum, thumbnail 5 / 20
Moustached Darter (Sympetrum vulgatum) ♀

5 / 20; PhotoID: Dr802 31/07/2018 13:55 Finland F8 1/250 180mm ISO200 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum vulgatum, thumbnail 6 / 20
Moustached Darter (Sympetrum vulgatum) ♂

6 / 20; PhotoID: Dr803 26/08/2009 17:43 Germany F5.6 1/200 180mm ISO100 Canon50D -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum vulgatum, thumbnail 7 / 20
Moustached Darter (Sympetrum vulgatum) ♂

7 / 20; PhotoID: Dr804 31/07/2018 15:15 Finland F8 1/250 180mm ISO400 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum vulgatum, thumbnail 8 / 20
Moustached Darter (Sympetrum vulgatum) ⚤

8 / 20; PhotoID: Dr805 15/09/2007 13:29 Belgium F5.6 1/320 180mm ISO100 Canon30D -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum vulgatum, thumbnail 9 / 20
Moustached Darter (Sympetrum vulgatum) ⚤

9 / 20; PhotoID: Dr806 27/08/2009 12:01 Germany F5.6 1/400 180mm ISO100 Canon50D -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum vulgatum, thumbnail 10 / 20
Moustached Darter (Sympetrum vulgatum) ♀

10 / 20; PhotoID: Dr807 10/08/2019 12:49 Netherlands F8 1/125 180mm ISO400 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum vulgatum, thumbnail 11 / 20
Moustached Darter (Sympetrum vulgatum) ♀

11 / 20; PhotoID: Dr808 31/07/2018 17:35 Finland F8 1/200 180mm ISO200 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum vulgatum, thumbnail 12 / 20
Moustached Darter (Sympetrum vulgatum) ♀

12 / 20; PhotoID: Dr809 01/08/2018 15:59 Finland F8 1/160 180mm ISO400 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum vulgatum, thumbnail 13 / 20
Moustached Darter (Sympetrum vulgatum) ♀

13 / 20; PhotoID: Dr810 02/08/2018 09:48 Finland F8 1/320 180mm ISO200 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum vulgatum, thumbnail 14 / 20
Moustached Darter (Sympetrum vulgatum) ♀

14 / 20; PhotoID: Dr811 25/07/2018 18:48 Finland F8 1/160 180mm ISO200 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum vulgatum, thumbnail 15 / 20
Moustached Darter (Sympetrum vulgatum) ♀

15 / 20; PhotoID: Dr812 25/07/2018 18:55 Finland F8 1/250 180mm ISO200 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum vulgatum, thumbnail 16 / 20
Moustached Darter (Sympetrum vulgatum) ♀

16 / 20; PhotoID: Dr813 25/07/2018 19:38 Finland F8 1/500 180mm ISO400 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum vulgatum, thumbnail 17 / 20
Moustached Darter (Sympetrum vulgatum) ♂

17 / 20; PhotoID: Dr814 26/07/2018 15:23 Finland F8 1/60 180mm ISO200 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum vulgatum, thumbnail 18 / 20
Moustached Darter (Sympetrum vulgatum) ♂

18 / 20; PhotoID: Dr815 26/07/2018 15:36 Finland F8 1/400 180mm ISO400 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum vulgatum, thumbnail 19 / 20
Moustached Darter (Sympetrum vulgatum) ♀

19 / 20; PhotoID: Dr816 28/08/2009 12:11 Germany F5.6 1/200 180mm ISO100 Canon50D -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum vulgatum, thumbnail 20 / 20
Moustached Darter (Sympetrum vulgatum) ♀

20 / 20; PhotoID: Dr817 26/07/2018 18:10 Finland F8 1/160 180mm ISO200 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF