The Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum) is a small dragonfly that quickly colonises ponds. The male is dull red and the female is yellow, orange or brown. It can be seen from mid to late summer and sometimes in autumn in large numbers; it can be the last dragonfly to be seen on the wing.
The dragonfly hovers and darts to catch its prey, usually insects such as gnats and midges.
The female lays her eggs just below the surface of the water. The larvae emerge and live in the pond for a year feeding on small aquatic animals such as tadpoles.