Up until some 10 years ago, the sighting of a Broad Scarlet was a newsworthy rarity in the countries of Northern Europe. Not so today; this species - maybe more than any other - has used the rising temperatures in Northern Europe (presumably an effect of global warming) to rapidly extend its range northwards, and in the summers of 2006 and 2007 we saw large populations of this species in the Netherlands. Of African origins, Crocothemis erythraea made its home in the Mediterranean basin much earlier, and here in Central Italy it is easily one of the commonest and most widespread species, at times exasperatingly so. It's a medium-sized dragonfly with a broad, slightly flattened abdomen. Its most distinguishing features include the male's all-red body (only the hind wing patch near the base is orangey yellow), and the yellow female's pale antehumerals and the pale stripe on top of her thorax.
For an overview of the Broad Scarlet's distribution in Europe, hover your mouse pointer over the map symbol .
With the authors' permission we have based this map on data published in Kalkman et al. (2010).
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