Length: 34-43 mm
This colorful species cannot be easily confused with any other North American dragon.
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. They prefer small ponds and sluggish streams.
Variegated Meadowhawks have most commonly been recorded in the western United States and southwestern Canada, and as far south as Honduras. The species does turn up in the East, however, and has been reported a few times from the mountains of northeastern West Virginia.
Below: a Variegated Meadowhawk in flight.