Minnesota Dragonfly

Variegated Meadowhawk

Sympetrum corruptum

The Variegated Meadowhawk is the largest and one of the most colorful Sympetrum in Minnesota. Males are an intricate pattern of red, brown, white and a little yellow. Females are patterned with white, tan, yellow and black. Since they are migratory they are often seen early in the summer


Field Marks
  • Average adult size is approximately from 1.3 to 1.7 inches
  • Red and brown face with Red over pink eyes
  • Brown thorax with 2 pale side stripes that end in yellow dots on each side. Stripes disappear leaving just the dots in mature males
  • Legs black with a tan outside edge
  • Red and tan patterened abdomen with black top spots on segments 8 and 9
  • White and black side spots on segments 2 to 8, black only side spot on segment 9, white can disappear in mature males
  • Reddish terminal appendages
  • Cerci slightly longer then epiproct
  • Veins at front edge of wings are orange, with a red stigma

Click on photos above for a close-up view.

Field Marks
  • Pink and brown face with red over pink eyes
  • Brown thorax with 2 pale side stripes, each ends in a yellow dot
  • Abdomen tan patterned with white and black side spots on segments 3 to 8, black side spot on 9 and black top spots on 8 and 9
  • Tan terminal appendages and small subgenital plates

Click on photos above for a close-up view.

Natural History


The Variegated Meadowhawk is a migratory species. They are often seen in the spring before other species begin to emerge. In the fall western populations migrate east When not around breeding territory they often perch on the ground where they take off to catch prey


Shallow ponds, marshes, temporary pools or almost any other wetlands that is not acidic


Females lay eggs in tandem with males. The pair flies low over the water, dipping down to tap the surface multiple times then moving a short distance and tapping there

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.