The head of a female Common Darter Sympetrum
striolatum. Common Darters characteristically return to the same perch to sun
themselves after flying or "darting" off to catch insect prey in flight.
Perches commonly include prominent dead twigs or wooden fences and railings. The
Common Darter can sometimes be confused with the Ruddy Darter, however, both male and
female Common Darters lack the narrowly waisted abdomen possessed by the Ruddy
Darter. The Common Darter is one of the latest British dragonflies to emerge and fly
during the late summer and well into the autumn. It is well distributed throughout
England, Wales and Ireland but less common in Scotland.