Nebraska Dragonflies and Damselflies

Saffron-winged Meadowhawk

Sympetrum costiferum

Hagen, 1861

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Saffron-winged Meadowhawks have yellow on the leading edges of their wings; however, this disappears as they age. Both sexes have bodies with a minimum of dark markings. Young males and some females are brown to dull yellow. Older males and some females are red.

This species is more common in northern and western Nebraska, but there are scattered records south and east and into Kansas. A late season species much commoner in September and October and the dominant meadowhawk at that time, it is found in vegetated roadside ditches, cattail borders of ponds and marshy areas back from streams.

Saffron-winged Meadowhawk
Saffron-winged Meadowhawk male

Size: 31-37 mm (1.2-1.5 in)

Habitat: ponds; tolerates alkaline and saline conditions

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

Flight season: late June to mid October

Saffron-winged Meadowhawk map

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

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