Crocothemis erythraea 

Scope: Global

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Arthropoda Insecta Odonata Libellulidae

Scientific Name: Crocothemis erythraea
Species Authority: (Brullé, 1832)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Broad Scarlet, Scarlet Darter, Common Scarlet-darter, Scarlet Dragonfly
French Libellule Écarlate
Libellula erythraea Brullé, 1832
Taxonomic Source(s): Schorr, M. and Paulson, D. 2015. World Odonata List. Revision 22 December 2015. Tacoma, Washington, USA Available at:

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-08-13
Assessor(s): Clausnitzer, V.
Reviewer(s): Dow, R.A., Dijkstra, K.-D.B., Allen, D. & García, N.
Contributor(s): Suhling, F., Ferreira, S., Mitra, A., Subramanian, K.A., Boudot, J.-P., Schneider, W. & Samraoui, B.
The species is widespread and common, increasing in range in some parts of the world, and therefore assessed as Least Concern.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The species is widespread in Africa, southern Europe, the Middle East, and west Asia, extending as far east as Yunnan in China. It is absent from southeast Asia; its Asian distribution is essentially Himalayan: Nepal (Asahina 1965, Mahato 1988), and northern India (with records from Assam (Schneider 1995) and West Bengal (Peters 1981)). It is currently expanding northwards in Europe, and is known or expected to occur in every country south of the Sahara in Africa (K.-D. Dijkstra pers. comm. 2011). Known records from Central Africa are from Angola, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome, and Zambia, and it expected to be present in Congo; in eastern Africa, it has been recorded in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi and Burundi: common and widespread in all five countries (Burundi assumed); in northern Africa, it is common and widespread; in northeastern Africa, the species is recorded from Socotra, Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan and Somalia, and occurrence in Djibouti, Eritrea, Chad and Uganda is assumed; the species is widespread all over southern Africa; in western Africa, the species is known from Senegal and Gambia to Chad.

It is common and widespread in the southern half of Europe (Boudot et al. 2009) and in the south of Ukraine. In the last two decades it has been strongly expanding its range in the north being now indigenous to many areas were it previously did not occur (Ott 2007).
Countries occurrence:
Afghanistan; Albania; Algeria; Angola (Angola, Angola, Cabinda); Austria; Azerbaijan (Nakhichevan); Bahrain; Bangladesh; Belarus; Belgium; Benin; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Botswana; Bulgaria; Burkina Faso; Burundi; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Chad; China (Yunnan); Comoros; Congo; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Côte d'Ivoire; Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Djibouti; Egypt (Egypt (African part), Sinai); Equatorial Guinea (Annobón, Bioko, Equatorial Guinea (mainland)); Eritrea; Ethiopia; France (Clipperton I., Corsica, France (mainland)); Gabon; Gambia; Georgia; Germany; Ghana; Greece (East Aegean Is., Greece (mainland), Kriti); Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Hungary; India (Assam, West Bengal); Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Israel; Italy (Italy (mainland), Sardegna, Sicilia); Jersey; Jordan; Kazakhstan; Kenya; Kuwait; Lebanon; Lesotho; Liberia; Libya; Luxembourg; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Madagascar; Malawi; Mali; Malta; Mauritania; Moldova; Montenegro; Morocco; Mozambique; Myanmar (Myanmar (mainland)); Namibia (Caprivi Strip, Namibia (main part)); Nepal; Netherlands; Niger; Nigeria; Oman; Pakistan; Palestinian Territory, Occupied; Poland; Portugal (Portugal (mainland)); Qatar; Romania; Russian Federation; Sao Tomé and Principe (Principe, Sâo Tomé); Saudi Arabia; Senegal; Serbia (Kosovo, Serbia, Serbia); Seychelles (Aldabra, Seychelles (main island group)); Sierra Leone; Slovakia; Slovenia; Somalia; South Africa; South Sudan; Spain (Baleares, Canary Is., Spain (mainland), Spanish North African Territories); Sudan; Swaziland; Syrian Arab Republic; Tajikistan; Tanzania, United Republic of; Togo; Tunisia; Turkey (Turkey-in-Asia, Turkey-in-Europe); Turkmenistan; Uganda; Ukraine; United Arab Emirates; Uzbekistan; Western Sahara; Yemen (North Yemen, Socotra, South Yemen); Zambia; Zimbabwe
United Kingdom (Great Britain)
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The species is common in most of its range, and in Europe it is steadily expanding its range northwards.
Current Population Trend:Increasing
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The species occurs at a wide range of running and standing, unshaded waters including rice paddies and brackish lagoons. In the northern part of its range it is mostly found at not too shallow, well vegetated waters. Various terrestrial habitats except dense forest, and prefers stagnant water.
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is not utilized.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The species is not under any specific threat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No conservation measures are needed.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.5. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability:Suitable  major importance:No
1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability:Suitable  major importance:No
2. Savanna -> 2.1. Savanna - Dry
suitability:Suitable  major importance:No
2. Savanna -> 2.2. Savanna - Moist
suitability:Suitable  major importance:No
3. Shrubland -> 3.5. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability:Suitable  major importance:No
3. Shrubland -> 3.6. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Moist
suitability:Suitable  major importance:No
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.1. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls)
suitability:Suitable  major importance:No
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.2. Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent/Irregular Rivers/Streams/Creeks
suitability:Suitable  major importance:No
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.3. Wetlands (inland) - Shrub Dominated Wetlands
suitability:Suitable  major importance:No
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.4. Wetlands (inland) - Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands
suitability:Suitable  major importance:No
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.5. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha)
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.6. Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha)
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.7. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha)
suitability:Suitable  major importance:No
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.8. Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha)
suitability:Suitable  major importance:No
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.14. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Saline, Brackish or Alkaline Lakes
suitability:Suitable  major importance:No
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.15. Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent Saline, Brackish or Alkaline Lakes and Flats
suitability:Suitable  major importance:No
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.16. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Saline, Brackish or Alkaline Marshes/Pools
suitability:Suitable  major importance:No
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.17. Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent Saline, Brackish or Alkaline Marshes/Pools
suitability:Suitable  major importance:No
15. Artificial/Aquatic & Marine -> 15.1. Artificial/Aquatic - Water Storage Areas (over 8ha)
15. Artificial/Aquatic & Marine -> 15.2. Artificial/Aquatic - Ponds (below 8ha)
15. Artificial/Aquatic & Marine -> 15.3. Artificial/Aquatic - Aquaculture Ponds
15. Artificial/Aquatic & Marine -> 15.5. Artificial/Aquatic - Excavations (open)
15. Artificial/Aquatic & Marine -> 15.7. Artificial/Aquatic - Irrigated Land (includes irrigation channels)
15. Artificial/Aquatic & Marine -> 15.8. Artificial/Aquatic - Seasonally Flooded Agricultural Land
15. Artificial/Aquatic & Marine -> 15.9. Artificial/Aquatic - Canals and Drainage Channels, Ditches

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education

Bibliography [top]

Asahina, S. 1966. The dragonflies taken by the Rikkyo University Himalayan Expedition. Akitu 12: 33-34.

Boudot, J.P., Kalkman, V.J., Azpilicueta Amorín, M., Bogdanović, T., Cordero Rivera, A., Degabriele, G., Dommanget, J.L., Ferreira, S., Garrigós, B., Jović, M., Kotarac, M., Lopau, W., Marinov, M., Mihoković, N., Riservato, E., Samraoui, B. and Schneider, W. 2009. Atlas of the Odonata of the Mediterranean and North Africa. Libellula Supplement 9: 256 pp.

IUCN. 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2013.1). Available at: (Accessed: 12 June 2013).

Mahato, M. 1988. Dragonfly inventory of the surveys in eastern and mid-western Nepal, with records of five species new to the fauna of Nepal (Odonata). Opuscula Zoologica Fluminensia: 1-9.

Ott, J. 2007. The expansion of Crocothemis erythraea (Brulle, 1832) in Germany - an indicator for climatic changes. In: B.K. Tyagi (ed.), Odonata: Biology of Dragonflies, Scientific Publishers, Jodhpur.

Peters, G. 1981. Trockenzeit-Libellen aus dem indischen Tiefland (Odonata). Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift N.F. Heft I-III: 93-108.

Schneider, W. 1985. Die Gattung Crocothemis Brauer, 1868 im Nahen Osten (Insecta: Odonata: Libellulidae). Senckenbergiana Biologica 66: 79-88.

Citation: Clausnitzer, V. 2013. Crocothemis erythraea. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T59859A20298786. . Downloaded on 26 October 2016.
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