Black darter

Sympetrum danae


The black darter is a small, narrow-bodied dragonfly which is on the wing from the end of June until September. This is a common dragonfly of moorlands, heaths and bogs. As their name suggests, black darters have a darting and somewhat skittish flight, moving forward suddenly from a hovering position to catch their insect-prey.

How to identify

The black darter is the only small dragonfly that is almost entirely black. Males are black with dark yellow spots along the sides, while females and juveniles are brownish-yellow.

Where to find it

Found in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, northern England and on heaths in southern England.


When to find it

  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September

How can people help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many wetland and heathland nature reserves for the benefit of all kinds of wildlife, including the black darter. But these precious sites are under threat from development, drainage and climate change. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife happenings, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities and be helping local wildlife along the way.

Species information

Common name
Black darter
Latin name
Sympetrum danae
Dragonflies and damselflies
Length: 2.9-3.4cm
Conservation status