Crocothemis servilia

Common Name:
Scarlet Skimmer, Crimson Darter, Oriental scarlet
C. servilia
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 servilia (Drury, 1773), the Scarlet Skimmer or Crimson Darter (Crocothemis servilia) is a species of dragonfly native to east and southeast Asia and introduced to Florida and Hawaii.

This is one of the larger species of red dragonflies. In males, the hindwing is 31 to 33 mm in length and the total body length ranges from 40 to 43 mm. The male is red from head to tail, including the eyes. There is a distinctive dark line along the dorsum of the abdomen. The female is light brown in colour. The wing base has a brownish yellow hyaline patch, moderately extensive in the hindwing. The immature male is like the female.

Males of Crcothemis servilia are easiily confused with those of Rhodothemis rufa. The dark line of abdomen and uniform red colour on dorsum of thorax in C. servilia is characteristic. Other differences by which they can be separated are given in Orr (2005).

Crocothemis servilia is an extremely widespread species, occurring throughout mainland tropical and subtropical Asia, Japan, the Ryukyu Archipelago, the greater and lesser Sunda isles, the Philippines and Sulawesi. In the west it extends into Iraq, Iran, Armenia and Turkey. It has been accidentally introduced into Florida in the USA.

IUCN Red List as Least Concern. This is a very common species across much of its range, occurring in man-made and disturbed habitats. This species does not appear to be under any major threats across most of its range.



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