Length: 34 - 43 mm
This colorful species cannot be easily confused with any other North American dragonfly.
The background color is brown to gray, while the abdominal markings are a gaudy mix of red, white, and beige.
The sides of the thorax are brown with a pair of pale lateral stripe that fade with age. The leading edges of the wings are yellowish, and each stigma has a yellow tip.
Left: the female coloration of Sympetrum corruptum.
Variegated Meadowhawks perch on the ground or on low plants such as horsetails (as seen in this photo). They prefer small ponds and sluggish streams.
Variegated Meadowhawks are found in Canada, the United States, and south to Honduras.
Photo data (upper two photos): 11 June 2004. Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge, Colorado.
Photo data (bottom photo): Variegated Meadowhawk in flight, 6 March 2007. De Luz, California.