DragonflyPix

Zwarte heidelibel (Sympetrum danae)

• English name: Black Darter
• German name: Schwarze Heidelibelle
• French name: Sympétrum noir
• Dutch name: Zwarte heidelibel
• Swedish name: Svart ängstrollslända
• Norwegian name: Svart høstlibelle
• Finnish name: Tummasyyskorento
• Danish name: Sort hedelibel
• Italian name: Cardinale nero
• Czech name: vážka tmavá
• Slovenian name: Črni kamenjak
• Bulgarian name: N/A

Zwarte heidelibel (Sympetrum danae)

Distribution map Sympetrum danae

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


General • a very small species of Central and (North-)Eastern Europe
Classification • suborder: Anisoptera (dragonflies); family: Libellulidae
Scientific name Sympetrum danae (Sulzer, 1776)
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
  ➤ the only Sympetrum species in Europe whose male does not have any red on the abdomen
Habitat • bog ponds and moors
Dimensions • typical body length: 29-34 mm; hindwing: 20-30 mm
Both sexesWings• the pterostigma is black
 Legs➤ the legs are all black
MaleThorax• the thorax is black with, on the side, two large yellow bands; the third band (in the middle) is black with three yellow spots; in mature males this yellow colour darkens to a dull brown
 Abdomen➤ the abdomen is black with yellow spots on top; in mature males this yellow colour darkens to a dull brown
FemaleThorax• the top of the thorax is yellow/brown with a black triangle
  • the side of the thorax is black with two large yellow bands; the third band (in the middle) is black with three yellow spots; in old females this yellow colour may darken to a dull brown
 Abdomen• the underside of the abdomen is black, while the the top is yellow; in old females this yellow colour may darken to a dull brown
  ➤ the large vulvar scale sits perpendicular to the abdomen
Photographs • nearly all of our photos below were made in Northern Italy and Bavaria

Sympetrum danae; vulvar scale, female
Note: S. vulgatum too has a large vulvar scale,
but her legs are not all black.

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

Sympetrum danae, thumbnail 1 / 20
1 / 20; PhotoID: Dr473 18/08/2008 11:56 Italy F8 1/250 180mm ISO200 Canon40D -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum danae, thumbnail 2 / 20
2 / 20; PhotoID: Dr474 24/08/2009 10:57 Germany F5.6 1/200 180mm ISO100 Canon50D -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum danae, thumbnail 3 / 20
3 / 20; PhotoID: Dr475 26/08/2015 14:47 Germany F8 1/200 180mm ISO200 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum danae, thumbnail 4 / 20
4 / 20; PhotoID: Dr478 19/08/2008 15:38 Italy F8 1/180 180mm ISO200 Canon40D -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum danae, thumbnail 5 / 20
5 / 20; PhotoID: Dr479 26/08/2015 11:37 Germany F8 1/320 180mm ISO200 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum danae, thumbnail 6 / 20
6 / 20; PhotoID: Dr497 28/08/2015 14:05 Germany F8 1/160 180mm ISO200 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum danae, thumbnail 7 / 20
7 / 20; PhotoID: Dr498 26/08/2015 17:00 Germany F8 1/250 180mm ISO200 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum danae, thumbnail 8 / 20
8 / 20; PhotoID: Dr499 16/08/2016 11:47 Italy F8 1/160 180mm ISO400 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum danae, thumbnail 9 / 20
9 / 20; PhotoID: Dr500 18/08/2011 14:51 Italy F8 1/320 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum danae, thumbnail 10 / 20
10 / 20; PhotoID: Dr507 19/08/2008 17:40 Italy F8 1/250 180mm ISO200 Canon40D -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum danae, thumbnail 11 / 20
11 / 20; PhotoID: Dr508 19/08/2008 17:44 Italy F8 1/250 180mm ISO200 Canon40D -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum danae, thumbnail 12 / 20
12 / 20; PhotoID: Dr513 18/08/2011 15:23 Italy F8 1/320 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum danae, thumbnail 13 / 20
13 / 20; PhotoID: Dr514 03/08/2013 13:29 Finland F8 1/180 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum danae, thumbnail 14 / 20
14 / 20; PhotoID: Dr515 22/08/2011 14:34 Germany F8 1/60 180mm ISO400 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum danae, thumbnail 15 / 20
15 / 20; PhotoID: Dr516 24/08/2009 12:17 Germany F5.6 1/320 180mm ISO100 Canon50D -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum danae, thumbnail 16 / 20
16 / 20; PhotoID: Dr517 21/07/2010 11:42 Finland F8 1/400 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum danae, thumbnail 17 / 20
17 / 20; PhotoID: Dr528 19/08/2008 16:16 Italy F8 1/250 180mm ISO200 Canon40D -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum danae, thumbnail 18 / 20
18 / 20; PhotoID: Dr449 13/08/2012 17:30 Italy F8 1/250 180mm ISO400 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum danae, thumbnail 19 / 20
19 / 20; PhotoID: Dr476 26/08/2015 11:05 Germany F8 1/320 180mm ISO200 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum danae, thumbnail 20 / 20
20 / 20; PhotoID: Dr477 21/08/2015 11:15 Italy F8 1/200 180mm ISO400 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF