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Sympetrum corruptum
Variegated Meadowhawk

(Hagen, 1861)
Libellulidae, Skimmer Family
photo of Mature male variegated meadowhawk
Mature male variegated meadowhawk — Dan Jackson
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: S4
Distinguishing Characteristics:
The brownish male has a complex pattern of pastel hues on its abdomen that includes red in mature males. The female has an orange face and orange abdominal markings. The front edge of the wings are red-orange. The length of the body varies from 1.5 to 1.7 inches.
Description of Habitat/Range:
Usually found at non-moving waters, slow streams, and including ponds, This species is found throughout United States and southern Canada. It is very common in the west. In the east, including Wisconsin, it is migratory.
Flight Season:
The flight period is generally from late spring to late fall with two migration peaks. Adults have been documented from late April to early September in less than a dozen scattered counties in Wisconsin.
(Click on photos to enlarge)
photo of Mature male variegated meadowhawk
Mature male variegated meadowhawk — Dan Jackson
photo of Mature male variegated meadowhawk
Mature male variegated meadowhawk — Dennis Paulson
photo of Intermediate male variegated meadowhawk
Intermediate male variegated meadowhawk — Dan Jackson
photo of Immature male variegated meadowhawk
Immature male variegated meadowhawk — Dan Jackson
photo of Teneral male variegated meadowhawk
Teneral male variegated meadowhawk — Dan Jackson
photo of Mature female variegated meadowhawk
Mature female variegated meadowhawk — Dan Jackson
photo of Female variegated meadowhawk
Female variegated meadowhawk — Dan Jackson
photo of Immature female variegated meadowhawk
Immature female variegated meadowhawk — Dan Jackson
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