Discussion page on Sympetrum sanguineum in SW Turkey


During a visit (20 May - 3 June 2000) to South-western Turkey we found all Sympetrum sanguineum having yellow markings on their wings the way like Sympetrum flaveolum has. On this page a discussion on this phenomenon.


Males (right) and females (under). Females had generally more yellow on their wings as the males

Sympetrum sanguineum female SW Turkey Sympetrum sanguineum female SW Turkey

Photographs: Vincent Kalkman and Marcel Wasscher

Reactions until now were from

Elena Dyatlova (Odessa, Ukraine) was so kind to send us some scans of wings of a female S. sanguineum obsoletum from the surroundings of Odessa (Ukraine). They are, as she writes, "not so bright as those from Turkey" .

Ali Salur (Ankara, Turkey):
Yes, I suppose, I have seen and collected similar Sympetrum specimens from the same area. But I didn't see them e.g. in the central part of Turkey.

Milen Marinov (Bulgaria)
Your S.sanguineum picture really surprised me. I haven’t seen such a sanguineum which is so likely to be S. flaveolum on first look.

Reinhard Joedicke (Germany)
I personally have no experience with this form of sanguineum, but I think it is wonderful!

Oleg Kosterin (Novosibirsk, Russia) was so very kind to send me the translation of Belyshev's (1973) monograph about the subspecies of S. sanguineum.

First results

We present here a table with the characters of the subspecies as presented in Belyshev's publication, the scans of the characters from a male from South-western Turkey and a map of the distribution of the subspecies as mentioned by Belyshev (1973).Still some questions remain.


Wing base yellow Lower anal appendage Legs entirely black
S. s. obsoletum
Bartenev, 1925
extents always more than the half distance from the wing base to the triangle always reaches middle of hind margin of the uppers except for femur first leg
S. s. sanguineum
Mueller, 1764
does not reach half distance between wing base and triangle only reaches or slightly goes behind the lower-hind angle of the uppers as an exception, a yellow strike appears on internal surface of femora
S. s. sykinia
does not reach half distance between wing base and triangle almost reaches middle of hind margin of the upper as an exception, a yellow strike appears on internal surface of femora
S. s. armeniacum
Selys, 1884
does not reach half distance between wing base and triangle lower anal appendages either reach the lower-hind angle of the uppers or only slightly goes behind it. legs more yellow than black; all femora, and often tibia with a wide yellow stripe
red: most obvious characters
purple/pink: less obvious characters
black: situation in other species


Scans of the mentioned characters from the individuals of Southwest Turkey



wings Sympetrum sanguineum male

appendages Sympetrum sanguineum male legs Sympetrum sanguineum male


Distributionmap of subspecies of Sympetrum sanguineum according to data in
Belyshev (1973) and for Turkey our own recordsred question mark: the population in Southwest Turkey.

Map with the known distrubution ssp. of Sympetrum sanguineum


Some of the remaining questions

Belong the individuals of South-western Turkey indeed to the subspecies S. s. obsoletum?

Is this the only locality outside the known range in Russia, or are there maybe also individuals from Sympetrum sanguineum which have in the past been misteken for S. flaveolum?

In the Turkish material collected by Gert-Jan van Pelt we did find individuals with the characteristics of S. s. armeniacum. To which part of Turkey and to which habitat is this ssp. confined?

Do the recorded individuals from S. sanguineum in Israel and Northen Africa differ from S. s. sanguineum?

Remarks? Please send them to Marcel Wasscher                                                 Page last changed on: 19 mei, 2005