Minnesota Dragonfly

Cherry-faced Meadowhawk

Sympetrum internum

The Cherry-faced Meadowhawk is a member of the genus Sympetrum. Males are mostly reddish brown with black side spots on the abdomen. Females come in a mustard yellow or red form. Distinguishing between Meadowhawk species can be very difficult


Field Marks
  • Average adult size is approximately from 1.0 to 1.3 inches
  • Reddish tan face
  • Red eyes
  • Reddish brown unmarked thorax
  • Veins at base of wings are amber
  • Black legs
  • Red abdomen with black side spots on segment 4 to 9
  • Red terminal appendages
  • Cerci not much longer than epiproct
  • Large lobster claw shaped hamules
  • Females come in either yellow and red form

Click on photos above for a close-up view.

Field Marks
  • Eyes red over tan with a tan face
  • Primarily tan body, although a small percentage of females turn red on the top of the thorax and abdomen
  • Side spots on abdominal segments 4-9 form a continuous side stripe
  • Segments 2 and 3 have a narrow stripe higher up on the segment
  • Frequently with orange patch at the base of the wings
  • Subgenital plates curve outward at the tips

Click on photos above for a close-up view.

Natural History


Cherry-faced Meadowhawks are not often found near the water, unless they are ovipositing. Typically they are found in open fields, where males defend small territories


Ponds, marshes, lake edges, pools, marshes and slow shady streams


Mating typically takes place away from the water with Cherry-faced Meadowhawk wheels often found in fields. Female lays eggs alone or in tandem by dropping the eggs on to dry ground around the rim of the pond, lake or stream. These areas fill with water in the spring just in time for the new nymphs to hatch

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.