DragonflyPix

Desert Darter (Sympetrum sinaiticum)

• English name: Desert Darter
• German name: Wüsten-Heidelibelle
• French name: N/A
• Dutch name: Woestijnheidelibel
• Swedish name: N/A
• Norwegian name: N/A
• Finnish name: N/A
• Danish name: N/A
• Italian name: Cardinale del deserto
• Czech name: N/A
• Slovenian name: N/A
• Bulgarian name: N/A

Desert Darter (Sympetrum sinaiticum)

Not present
Present before 1990
Present after 1990

Present before and after 1990
Present after 2015

Distribution map Sympetrum sinaiticum

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


General • a small species which in Europe occurs only in eastern and southern Spain and on Sicily
Classification • suborder: Anisoptera (dragonflies); family: Libellulidae
Conservation status • IUCN Red List Europe: Least Concern
Scientific name Sympetrum sinaiticum Dumont, 1977
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
  • this species aestivates during the hottest, driest summer months
Habitat • ponds and pools, but also streams and ditches (e.g. in desert oases)
Dimensions • typical body length: 34-37 mm; hindwing: 24-29 mm
Both sexesHead• the underside of the eye tends to be blue-grey in the subspecies tarraconense, which occurs in Spain (see e.g. Dr1264 and Dr1289 below)
 Abdomen➤ the abdomen bears three black bars laterally on S1-S3
 Legs• the legs are yellow with a black stripe on the tibia and femur
MaleThorax• the thorax is brown-red (yellow in immature males) with, on the side, very thin black lines
 Abdomen• the abdomen is red (yellow in immature males) with black spots laterally on S8 and S9, and a thin black line along the bottom edge; the two black spots dorsally on S8 and S9 are very small
  • the abdomen is not club-shaped
FemaleThorax• the thorax is yellow with, on the side, very thin black lines
 Abdomen• the top of the abdomen is yellow with black spots laterally (and dorsally on S8 and S9); the side of the abdomen bears a thin black line along the bottom edge
Photographs • our photos below were made in Tunisia, Andalusia and, more recently, Valencia

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

Desert Darter (Sympetrum sinaiticum)
Male head, thorax and abdomen in lateral 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 sinaiticum, thumbnail 1 / 20
Desert Darter (Sympetrum sinaiticum) ♂

1 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1262 03/10/2019 11:36 Spain F8 1/400 180mm ISO200 Canon90D -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum sinaiticum, thumbnail 2 / 20
Desert Darter (Sympetrum sinaiticum) ♂

2 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1263 03/10/2019 13:01 Spain F8 1/1000 180mm ISO200 Canon90D -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum sinaiticum, thumbnail 3 / 20
Desert Darter (Sympetrum sinaiticum) ♂

3 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1264 22/09/2014 13:01 Spain F8 1/350 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum sinaiticum, thumbnail 4 / 20
Desert Darter (Sympetrum sinaiticum) ♂

4 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1265 03/10/2019 13:29 Spain F8 1/400 180mm ISO100 Canon90D -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum sinaiticum, thumbnail 5 / 20
Desert Darter (Sympetrum sinaiticum) ♂

5 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1266 03/10/2019 14:04 Spain F8 1/500 180mm ISO200 Canon90D -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum sinaiticum, thumbnail 6 / 20
Desert Darter (Sympetrum sinaiticum) ♂

6 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1267 04/10/2019 13:47 Spain F8 1/160 180mm ISO100 Canon90D -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum sinaiticum, thumbnail 7 / 20
Desert Darter (Sympetrum sinaiticum) ♀

7 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1268 05/10/2009 17:44 Tunisia F5.6 1/200 180mm ISO100 Canon50D -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum sinaiticum, thumbnail 8 / 20
Desert Darter (Sympetrum sinaiticum) ♂

8 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1269 06/10/2019 13:53 Spain F8 1/500 180mm ISO200 Canon90D -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum sinaiticum, thumbnail 9 / 20
Desert Darter (Sympetrum sinaiticum) ♂

9 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1289 06/10/2019 14:58 Spain F8 1/640 180mm ISO200 Canon90D -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum sinaiticum, thumbnail 10 / 20
Desert Darter (Sympetrum sinaiticum) ♂

10 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1290 07/10/2019 14:01 Spain F8 1/2000 180mm ISO800 Canon90D -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum sinaiticum, thumbnail 11 / 20
Desert Darter (Sympetrum sinaiticum) ♂

11 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1291 07/10/2009 12:09 Tunisia F8 1/400 180mm ISO100 Canon50D -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum sinaiticum, thumbnail 12 / 20
Desert Darter (Sympetrum sinaiticum) ♀

12 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1292 07/10/2019 14:38 Spain F8 1/1600 180mm ISO400 Canon90D -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum sinaiticum, thumbnail 13 / 20
Desert Darter (Sympetrum sinaiticum) ♀

13 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1293 07/10/2019 14:44 Spain F8 1/1600 180mm ISO200 Canon90D -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum sinaiticum, thumbnail 14 / 20
Desert Darter (Sympetrum sinaiticum) ♀

14 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1294 07/10/2009 13:34 Tunisia F8 1/250 180mm ISO100 Canon50D -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum sinaiticum, thumbnail 15 / 20
Desert Darter (Sympetrum sinaiticum) ♀

15 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1295 07/10/2019 14:54 Spain F8 1/500 180mm ISO200 Canon90D -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum sinaiticum, thumbnail 16 / 20
Desert Darter (Sympetrum sinaiticum) ♀

16 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1296 25/08/2010 12:58 Spain F8 1/250 180mm ISO100 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum sinaiticum, thumbnail 17 / 20
Desert Darter (Sympetrum sinaiticum) ♀

17 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1297 07/10/2019 14:58 Spain F8 1/1250 180mm ISO200 Canon90D -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum sinaiticum, thumbnail 18 / 20
Desert Darter (Sympetrum sinaiticum) ♂

18 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1298 07/10/2009 15:38 Tunisia F5.6 1/250 180mm ISO100 Canon50D -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum sinaiticum, thumbnail 19 / 20
Desert Darter (Sympetrum sinaiticum) ♂

19 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1301 08/10/2019 13:21 Spain F8 1/640 180mm ISO100 Canon90D -Crop -Flash MF
Sympetrum sinaiticum, thumbnail 20 / 20
Desert Darter (Sympetrum sinaiticum) ♂

20 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1316 08/10/2019 13:24 Spain F8 1/800 180mm ISO100 Canon90D -Crop -Flash MF