Saffron-winged Meadowhawk - Sympetrum costiferum (Hagen, 1861)

Range & Habitat:

Vagrant? One record from Hunterdon County in 1973. Normally found north of New Jersey.

Elsewhere it tends to be found along gravelly or sandy lakes and ponds.

Flight Season:
Early Date: 9 September
Late Date: 9 September

Flight season charts created from records in the official database maintained by Allen Barlow.

Male Dorsal - Photo by Jim Bangma
Click on a thumbnail to view full-size photo

The females are quite readily recognized by the prominent yellowish veins along the leading edge of the wing. In males this coloration may fade as they mature, and the legs range from light brown to dark. The abdomen is mostly red, with variable black dorsally and laterally on the terminal segments.

This combines to make them resemble Autumn Meadowhawks; the author wonders whether additional vagrants may be missed among the hordes of that species in late summer and early fall. Definitive ID of some individuals would depend on critical examination of secondary genitalia.

Conservation Status:
State: S? Not yet ranked
Global: G5 Secure globally, but possibly rare in parts of its range