Autumn Darter

Typically red dragonfly refers to dragonfly belonging to Libelluidae Sympetrum,
but in the narrow sense it may point only to Akiakane. It is one of the most of popular dragonflies, and the name means of color and is found in fall. Other names of red dragonfly are Akanetonbo, Akane, Akanenba and Akatonbou. It is also called Tougarashitoubo and Kaminaritonbo in Tohoku.

The length of it is from 35mm to 43mm. A adult male’s body color is brown or dark orange not bright red. Females and immature individuals are brown or tan not red. Their wings are transparent. The scientific name is Sympetrum frequens. It is classified Animalia Arthropoda Insecta Odonata Anisoptera Libelluidae Sympetrum S.frequens.

Its distribution is in Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu. It is an endemic species to Japan, and we can see it normally. It tends to more to the north and especially large in northeastern Japan. There are very few in the south of Kyushu. Emergence period is from June to November, sometimes they survive until early December.

Habitat is flat, swamp and marsh with many aquatic plants of low mountain area, paddy and grooves. Often we can see even in the artificial environment such as ponds and pools. It likes very bright environment and its characteristics is to lay eggs in shallow water area, so rice paddy is best habitat. It can be seen even in urban area and large populations, because it can grow not only in paddy but also artificial environment such as school and pool of city.

A dragonfly is carnivorous, catch and eat small animals that live. This food is fly, mosquito and small insects such as leafhopper and planthopper of pest of rice. It eats 11~12mg in a day. This amount is more than ten percent of their weight, so it is a very large meal. The reason is to accumulate energy necessary for long distance flight.

It is to do handstands because of reduce the area of sunlight in order to control the increase in body temperature adults emerged in flat spend cool high ground during the summer and come down in flat to spawn again in fall.

Another well known red dragonfly is Natsuakane. It can not disappear from a flat during the lifetime. Therefore, it was named “Natsuakane”, because we can see in the low ground during the summer. There is no difference in activity time of them. Although these two kinds of red dragonflies is very similar, we can identify the pattern of the
chest. A Natsuakane is smaller than an Akiakane.

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Students of Kochi National University English for Biology class, 2010