|Crocothemis is a genus of dragonflies
in the Libellulidae family, subfamily Sympetrinae (Darters). The genus
contains around 10 species. Various species of this genus occur in southern
Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and the Southwest Pacific. They are generally
small to medium sized dragonflies. These dragonflies are often noticed
due to their colours. Males are generally very brightly coloured, ranging
from totally red in several species, to the rich blue of Australia's C.
nigrifrons. As with many Libellulid species, the females tend to be dull
brown or orange.
Crocothemis erythraea (Brulle, 1832)
is a member of the dragonfly genus Crocothemis. Its common names include
Broad Scarlet, Common Scarlet-darter, Scarlet Darter and Scarlet Dragonfly.
They can be found near shallow, still waters such as small pools, rice
paddies and drainage channels.
Length around 33-44mm, 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.
The adult male has a vividly bright
scarlet, widened abdomen. The veins on the leading edges of the wings are
also red, and small amber patches at the bases of the hindwings. Females
and immatures are yellow-brown and have a conspicuous pale stripe along
the top of the thorax.
Of African origins, the species is
widespread in Africa, southern Europe, the Middle East, and west Asia,
extending as far east as Yunnan in China. It is common and widespread in
the southern half of Europe and in the south of Ukraine. In the last two
decades it has been strongly expanding its range in the north being now
indigenous to many areas were it previously did not occur. It is recorded
from every country in Africa and occurs across Asia as far as southern
The species is widespread and common,
increasing in range in some parts of the world, and therefore assessed
by IUCN Red List as Least Concern.