101 061 Lestes tridens Spotted Spreadwing Pair Tshipise LP March 2014 1 101 060 Lestes tridens Spotted Spreadwing Female Tshipise LP March 2014 1 101 058 Lestes tridens Spotted Spreadwing Pair Tshipise LP February 2014 1

Spotted Spreadwing.          Gevlekte Spanvlerkie.

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Short Description:

Lestes tridens, Spotted Spreadwing, Genus Lestes, Family Lestidae, small to medium sized, greyish green to greyish blue, with dark grey elongated spots and speckles and a distinctive wavy oak leaf pattern on the top of the thorax Very similar to Cryptic Spreadwing, L. dissimulans.

Key identification features:


  • Thorax is greyish green to greyish blue with dark elongated spots and speckles with wavy 'oak leaf' dorsal band on the thorax.
  • Pterostigmas is dark greyish brown and shorter.
  • Less blue on the terminal segments Superior appendages are distinctly whitish with black bases and tips.
  • There are three teeth on the inside of each upper clasper. Upper clasper has a single blunt tooth close to the base.


  • Light brown has similar dark brown spots on the thorax.
Compared with other species:
Distribution and habitat
  • From E Cape to the northern parts of South Africa and the coastal plains of KZN, eastern Mpumalang and LP.
  • Preferred habitat is grassy and bushy margins of pools, dams, swamps, lake shores, and waterholes, usually with emergent and often aquatic vegetation.
  • Hangs with wings outstretched inactively on grass stems or twigs over water. Female often with male.
Further reading:
http://vmus.adu.org.za/vm_map_afr.php?&database=odonata&grid=2&outline=1&key=0&map=4&spp=660330 Books:
A Guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa... P 48

Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa...p 64
Dragonfly Biotic Index...p 55
Dragonflies and Damselflies of Eastern
Africa.. P 26


Warwick Tarboton
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species       Least concern.
Odonata Atlas of Africa VMU Number 660330
Other Information:
Size Comparison Diagram
Dragonflies, Damselflies
Morphology of a
Dragonfly,  Damselfly
Map of South Africa

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