Wisconsin Odonata Survey

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Sympetrum vicinum  (Hagen, 1861)
Autumn Meadowhawk


Libellulidae, Skimmer Family

The meadowhawks form a group of small, late-season skimmers that can be difficult to tell apart. The Kalosympetrum subgenus in particular, which includes the ruby, white-faced, cherry-faced, and Jane's meadowhawks, are often difficult to distinguish and their taxonomic status is not in agreement among experts. To identify meadowhawks, notice the coloration of the face, legs, and wing veins in addition to the body. Mature males in all species, except for the black meadowhawk, have red markings, including females in some species.

Status-Global/State:

Global: G5     Wisconsin: S5    

Distinguishing Characteristics:

This slender, pale-reddish meadowhawk, with minimal black markings, has brown or yellow legs. Formerly called the yellow-legged meadowhawk, this name was recently changed because mature adults have brown legs, which caused confusion for newcomers to the study of dragonflies. The female has a distinctive spout-like subgenital plate, which is easily seen in side view. When immature, it is yellow and becomes red as it matures. The length of the body varies from 1.2 to 1.4 inches.

Description of Habitat/Range:

This species is usually found at bogs, ponds, marshes, lakes, and slow streams. It likes the habitats that are wooded and permanent or sometimes temporary. It is commonly found throughout United States and southernmost Canada. In Wisconsin, it is abundantly distributed throughout the state.

Flight Season:

Late July to mid-November in Wisconsin. It is one of the latest dragonflies to emerge during the year.


Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
1%
(8)
14%
(165)
31%
(376)
39%
(471)
11%
(134)
5%
(64)
Shading illustrates monthly percentages of the total flight season records for the species. Each flight season record is a unique date/location/observer combination where one or more adult or an exuvia was recorded (excludes nymphs). The actual number of flight season records for each month is shown in parentheses.

Flight seasons begin earlier in the southern part of the state, often by a week or more. Also, flight charts may not be accurate for rare species because of few data available.
View user-submitted photos

(Click on photos to enlarge)
Photo of Male autumn meadowhawk
Male autumn meadowhawk. © Dan Jackson

Male autumn meadowhawk
Photo of Male autumn meadowhawk
Male autumn meadowhawk. © Dan Jackson

Male autumn meadowhawk
Photo of Teneral male autumn meadowhawk
Teneral male autumn meadowhawk. © Dan Jackson

Teneral male autumn meadowhawk
Photo of Female autumn meadowhawk
Female autumn meadowhawk. © Dan Jackson

Female autumn meadowhawk
Photo of Female autumn meadowhawk
Female autumn meadowhawk. © Dan Jackson

Female autumn meadowhawk
Photo of Immature female autumn meadowhawk
Immature female autumn meadowhawk. © Dan Jackson

Immature female autumn meadowhawk
Photo of Autumn meadowhawk pair in wheel
Autumn meadowhawk pair in wheel. © Dan Jackson

Autumn meadowhawk pair in wheel



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