St Lucia Basker Dec Richardsbay KZN RSA 2019r 3 101 538 Urothemis luciana St Lucia Basker Female Cape Vidal KZN RSA Dec 2012 101 537A Urothemis luciana St Lucia Basker Male Cape Vidal KZN RSA Dec 2012

St Lucia Basker     St Lucia-sonvangertjie

Urothemis luciana Balinsky, 1961

101 537A Urothemis luciana St Lucia Basker Male Cape Vidal KZN RSA Dec 2012
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Short Description:

Urothemis luciana, St Lucia Basker, Genus Urothemis, Family Libellulidae, medium-sized, robust, deep red, with jagged deep reddish brown hindwing patches, and dark reddish brown forewing flares.

Key identification features:


  • All deep red.
  • Face and top of head deep brownish red.
  • Eyes deep red, almost blackish.
  • Thorax deep red with no distinctive markings
  • Wings with jaggered, reddish brown hindwing patch. Forewing with amber streaks. 8 - 9 Ax veins
  • Pterostigmas 4.2 mm, buff between thick blackish brown veins.
  • Abdomen bright deep red, segment 1 blackish above, segments 8 and 9 with blackish smudge running along their tops.
  • Appendages red
  • Legs black


  • Similar to male
  • Wing markings, orange and brown rather than red.
Compared with other species:

There are several red coloured species that needs close inspection to identify correctly.

  • Aethriamanta rezia, Pygmy Basker: 118 500 1Aethriamanta rezia Enseleni 2 1  Very small. Eyes brown with red cap on top, mottled grey below. Thorax with black shoulder stripe. Legs black. Wings all with small dark brown flares at the base, hindwings with additional small patch just behind flares, flares are surrounded by amber halo. 6 Ax veins. Pterostigmas reddish brown 2mm. Abdomen wide, bright red with regular black ladder running along entire top. Segment 1 blackish. Superior appendages red.
  • Urothemis assignata, Red Basker:  100 670 Urothemis assignata Red Basker Male Kozibay KZN RSA MCH 2018r 2 Stout, bright red. Eyes deep red above, mottled dark and light grey below. Legs light red. Hindwings have large dark red angular basal patches with amber hallow. Forewing has small traces of amber at the base. Wing veins red. Pterostigma yellow brown 4mm. Last Ax vein complete. Abdomen segments 5 -9 have black above with median ladder-like stripe of uneven width, widest on s 8 - 9. Appendages of moderate length, red.
  • Macrodiplax cora. Coastal Pennant: 118 503 Macrodiplax cora Coastal Penant Male Kosi Bay KZN Apr 2016r 1  Wings clear, except for small amber patch at base of hindwings. Abdomen bright red with along top strongly contrasting black hour glass shaped stripe of varying width, broken at each segmental joint.
  • Tramea basilaris, Keyhole Glider, 100 1666 Tramea basilaris Keyhole Glider Male Loskopdam MP RSA Nov 2017r 1 Hindwing patches distinctive keyhole shaped. Thorax dull orange above dark brownish grey with dark brown areas along the side. Abdomen segment 8 triangular shaped mark, S 9 -10 black above. Superior appendages long, dark brown with light base.
  • Tramea limbata, Ferrugginous Glider,  100 1142 Trame limbata Ferruginous Glider Hluhluwe KZN RSA Mch 2017r 2 Hindwing patches distinctive elongated, narrow shaped dark panels close to basel adge of the wing that may appear black in flight.  long brown claspers
  • Tholymis tillarga, Twister. 100 626 Tholymis tillarga Twister Male Tshipise LP RSA MCH 2016r 4  Hindwings with dark brown patch just inside nodus in front half, with white patch outside of it and diffuse amber area inside it. Forewings with diffuse amber area at bases of wings. Abdomen tapered, light red. Appendages long, red, black at tips.


Distribution and habitat:

Rare and only known from coastal northern KwaZulu-Natal. It has also been recorded from southern Mozambique.
It occurs in open, humid, coastal forest and bush.


It is a powerful flyer as it wheels above bushes and between trees and only settles on the tops of bushes on cool and overcast days.

Links to Further Reading: Books:
A Guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa   p. 212

Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa   p. 201
The Dragonflies and Damselflies Of Eastern Africa   p. 182
Dragonfly Biotic Index   p. 198
Websites of Interest:
Odonata Atlas of Africa VMU Number 669200
Warwick Tarboton
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa
African Dragonflies & Damselflies online

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species  NEAR THREATENED
Other Information:
Size Comparison Diagram Dragonflies, Damselflies
Morphology of a
Dragonfly, and Damselfly
Map of South Africa




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