Nebraska Dragonflies and Damselflies

Division of Entomology

Variegated Meadowhawk

Sympetrum corruptum

Hagen, 1861

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The Variegated Meadowhawk is often the earliest dragonfly to been seen in the spring in Nebraska. The thorax has two side stripes ending in yellow spots, which in mature males often fade, leaving only the spots. The abdomen is gray with white side spots and dark spots on the top of segments 8 and 9. Older males also have red abdominal markings; females and immature males have orange abdominal markings.

This is a common western species ranging east to Ohio, withvagrant records in almost all states. This is one of the first dragonflies to appear in spring, as a migrant, and one of the last to be seen in fall. It can be expected in every Nebraska county and is potentially present at almostany pond or lake. Small, seasonal cattle ponds and largereservoirs seem equally attractive.

Variegated Meadowhawk
Variegated Meadowhawk male

Size: 39-42 mm (1.6 in)

Habitat: still water and slow streams

Great Plains Range: TX, OK, KS, NE, SD, ND, NM, CO, WY, MT, MO, IA, MN

Flight season: mid April to mid October

Variegated Meadowhawk map

Green indicates accepted county record (specimen or photograph).
Yellow indicates sight record only.


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