Sympetrum pallipes

Striped meadowhawks are small dragonflies with a body length of 35 to 40 mm. Their flight period is from late spring to mid fall.

The face is cream coloured. The eyes are reddish-brown above and tan below. The thorax is brown with white to cream-coloured stripes. There are two stripes on each side and usually a pair of stripes on the top. The legs are usually black. The abdomen is red with black saw-toothed stripes along the lower sides. Males and females have similar appearances, although females tend to have lighter browns and reds. Immatures and some females have a yellow or light brown ground colour replacing the red and brown areas and lighter coloured legs.

Striped meadowhawks are often found in grass/sedge meadows adjacent to open water, especially around the edges of seasonal shallow open water as the water recedes during the summer. They often lay their eggs in these grassy areas or in exposed mud adjacent to water. The eggs may undergo delayed development, not hatching into larvae until fall when the seasonal wetlands reflood or possibly overwintering as eggs and hatching in the early spring.

Striped meadowhawks are well adapted to the seasonal shallow open water environments common in the wetlands at Rithet’s Bog. They are one of the most common dragonflies at Rithet’s Bog, with large populations in the Shallow Fen on the south side of the park and the West Wetland at the west end adjacent to Chatterton Way. They are often be seen perching on or beside the trail in these areas. They are also seen on the higher areas of Chatterton Hill, probably as immature adults completing their development after emerging, before they returned to the wetland areas to breed.

Above: Striped Meadowhawk adult.