Nebraska Dragonflies and Damselflies

Division of Entomology

Black Meadowhawk

Sympetrum danae

Sulzer, 1776

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The Black Meadowhawk male is dark brown to black from its eyes to the tip of its abdomen. The female has green/brown eyes and a brown thorax with yellow spots on the sides. Her abdomen is brown with a black side stripe and a back top stripe towards the tip. It is easily distinguishable from other meadowhawks because of its dark color. It is distinguishable from whitefaces because it has a dark face.

It is a rare vagrant in Nebraska. Its usual range is west of Nebraska and in the northern tier of states. It was found for the first time in Nebraska at Fontenelle Forest in Sarpy and at Heron Haven in Douglas Counties in September of 2012. The closest place outside of Nebraska that it has been found is in Sac County, Iowa, in 2001.

Black Meadowhawk
Black Meadowhawk male

Size: 30-33 mm (1.2-1.3 in)

Habitat: shallow lakes, marshes

Great Plains Range: NE, SD, ND, NM, CO, WY, MT, IA, MN

Flight season: September

Black Meadowhawk map

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


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