Crocothemis erythraea

Common Name:
Broad Scarlet, Scarlet Darter
C. erythraea
Species Description
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 China. 

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. 



The Species on Stamps




With courteous to Mr. Richard Lewington for the Dragonfly Illustration
Home  | Country List  |  Species List

Free Web Hosting