Urothemis signata

Common Name:
Scarlet Basker, Greater Crimson Glider 
U. signata
Species Description
Urothemis is a genus of dragonfly in family Libellulidae. Species occur from Africa, across Asia to Indonesia and Australia. The genus contains the following species:
         Urothemis abbotti (Laidlaw, 1927) 
         Urothemis aliena (Selys, 1878) - Red Baron 
         Urothemis assignata (Selys, 1872) - Red Basker 
         Urothemis bisignata (Brauer, 1868)
         Urothemis consignata (Selys, 1897) 
         Urothemis edwardsii (Selys, 1849) - Blue Basker 
         Urothemis luciana (Balinsky, 1961) - St Lucia Basker 
         Urothemis signata (Rambur, 1842) 
         Urothemis thomasi (Longfield, 1932) 

Urothemis signata (Rambur, 1842) is widespread in South and Southeast Asia, ranging east to Australia. Found in Asia: Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, Hainan, India, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Pakistan, Thailand, Viet Nam. 

In males of this red dragonfly, the hindwing is 34 to 35 mm long and the total body length ranges from 42 to 45 mm. Eyes are blood red above, reddish brown laterally and bluish grey beneath. Thorax is red dorsally and olivaceous with reddish suffusion laterally. Wings are transparent with crimson reticulation. Extreme base of fore wings have a golden amber yellow spot. The amber coloured spot on the base of hind wing is broader. The wing veins near the leading edges are red. The venation is open, helping to distinguish it from other medium-sized red dragonflies. Abdomen is blood red, with two distinct black diamond-shaped spots on the dorsum of abdominal segments 8 & 9. The female has the same characterisyics except that the color is light yellowish brown.

A number of subspecies are recognised for Urothemis signata. Of these, U. s. aliena Selys, 1878 was described as and is still is often treated as a distinct species (e.g. Theischinger and Hawking 2006). U. s. aethiopica Nielsen, 1957 is a junior synonym of U. thomasi Longfield,1932 and is not considered further in this assessment. The whole complex should be re-examined. The nominate subspecies U. s. signata  (Rambur, 1842) is known from India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and China and Indochina. U. s. insignata (Selys, 1872) is known from Sundaland, U. s. yiei (Asahina, 1972) is known from Taiwan, U. s. aliena (Selys, 1878) from Australia and New Guinea. 
Urothemis signata is a very widely distributed species that breeds in open habitats and that is tolerant of disturbance. It is accessed by the IUCN Red List as Least Concern. 





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