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Cherry-faced Meadowhawk



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Sympetrum internum

Montgomery, 1943


Order Odonata
Suborder Anisoptera
Superfamily Libelluloidea
Family Libellulidae
Genus Sympetrum
Species internum Montgomery, 1943 [Sympetrum]
Syn Sympetrum janeae Carle, 1993


Identification

This species is only found as far south as north central Oklahoma. It is a handsome species with a cherry red face at maturity. The thorax is reddish-brown and thickly clothed with hairs of the same color, but it is unmarked both in the front and on its sides. The wings are clear, with only a hint of yellow flavescence at their extreme base. The femora are pale beneath and the rest of the leg is black. The abdomen is cherry red with large black subequal triangles laterally on segments 4-8 or 9. Segment 10 and the caudal appendages are yellow with black on the apices of the cerci.

Size

Total length: 27-34 mm; abdomen: 20-23 mm; hindwing: 25-27 mm.

Similar Species

Saffron-winged Meadowhawk (S. costiferum ) has more yellow on the legs and has a narrower black lateral abdominal stripe. Band-winged Meadowhawk (S. semicinctum ) has black lateral thoracic markings.

Habitat

Ponds, pools and slow shady streams.

Discussion

This species is similar to the larger and more northern Ruby Meadowhawk (Sympetrum rubicundulum (Say) ) which doesn't occur in the south-central United States. This species is known from Cleveland and Payne Counties in Oklahoma, representing the most southern extent of its range. It has also been reported from Arkansas and Texas, but all these records are undoubtedly in error.

Distribution

Canada and northern U.S. south to Oklahoma and New Mexico.