Minnesota Dragonfly

Band-winged Meadowhawk

Sympetrum semicinctum

The Band-winged Meadowhawk is a member of the genus Sympetrum. They are most notable for the bands on their hind wings, which are amber near the base but become a brown band, crossing the wing at about a 90 degree angle, at the nodus

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Field Marks
  • Average adult size is approximately from 0.9 to 1.3 inches
  • Brown face with red over brown eyes
  • Thorax red and brown patterned with black
  • Red abdomen with angled black side spots that form a jagged line running from segments 2 to 10 and black top spots on segments 8 and 9
  • Terminal appendages mostly black with some red. Cerci barely longer than epiproct
  • Wing patches on hind wings begin amber at base of wing then become a brown band crossing the wing at about 90 degrees at the nodus
  • Forewings tinted amber from base to about the nodus
  • Female either red form, like male except duller, or yellow form. Immature are yellow

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Field Marks
  • Eyes are red over greenish-yellow
  • Thorax is brown and yellow on the front and yellow on the sides
  • Abdomen black across the bottom with black center stripes on the top of segments 8 and 9
  • Some females develop red on the top of the abdomen as they mature
  • Small scoop styled subgenital plates

Click on photos above for a close-up view.

Natural History


Band-winged Meadowhaws are not very common in Minnesota. Where found they are often flying over open fields, well over head height , frequently stopping to hover. When perching they usually perch higher than other Sympetrum species


Small ponds and marshy areas with slow current. Also often found in fields away from the water


Mating usually takes place away from the water. Males and females fly in tandem to the water where females lay eggs by dipping their abdomen into shallow water with emergent vegetation while remaining in tandem with the male

Range Maps

Click on the icons above for this species' range maps

Click here for county and state checklists from Odonata Central.

Range maps and checklists courtesy of Odonata Central. Copyright © 2016 OdonataCentral. All Rights Reserved. Abbott, J.C. 2006-2018. OdonataCentral: An online resource for the distribution and identification of Odonata. Available at www.odonatacentral.org.