Elegant Dropwing Siervalvlerkie
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- A Guide to Identification of Dropwings (Trithemis) in General
- A Guide to identify Red Dropwings (Trithemis)
Key identification features:
- Face is all light orange. Labrum with central dark brown triangle.
- Eyes with reddish brown cap, mostly greyish brown with dark spots.
- Thorax is dull orange with reddish brown shoulder stripes and narrow blackish connected side stripes. Thin dorsal stripe with small brownish arrow shaped marks near the rear of the thorax.
- Wings clear with black veins, main veins light brown on underside, fairly large roundish transparent orange patch present at base of hindwings.
- Abdomen very slender, orange red and heavily marked at joints (less pronounced on young males), especially side view of segments 5 to 10, giving it a striped appearance. S4 about 4x as long as wide (best seen in ventral view).Segment 9 nearly all black with small oval orange red patch. Segment 10 is black.
- Legs Black with yellow stripes
- Light-yellow brown with less pronounced abdominal markings than the male.
- Thorax with tree dark brown lines NOT connected at the wing margin (Not forming an "M" pattern) The rearmost line ending in a "Y" split at the wing margin Humeral stripe broad and dark brow.
- Light amber patches on hind wing near the thorax and in front and behind nodus. Small light orange brown patch near the wing base.
- Abdomen with broad dark brown/black line on segment sides with lateral carina. Black/brown ring marks either side of the segment splits Segment 8-9 has dark triangular mark with the base of triangle at hind margin Cercus black pointing slightly outwards.
Compared with other species:
- Best identified by the heavily striped abdomen.
- Trithemis annulata females are similar but with less heavy markings along the joints with S 10 not completely black as in T. werneri. Thorax with clear "M" stripes zigzag marks
- Does not have the depth of redness of the common Crocothemis and Trithemis species.
Distribution and habitat:
- Localised in the Mpumalanga lowveld area, Swaziland and northern KZN
- Found along wide, swift, open rocky and reedy savanna rivers with an abundance of Phragmites reeds and where there are large trees lining the upper banks
- It perches on the tips of twigs on the tops of bushes or below the high tree canopy, facing the river.
- Often found some distance away from the water.
- Female perches in the same habitat.
|Books and other reading material
The Dragonflies and Damselflies of Eastern Africa p. 202
A Guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa p. 192
Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africap. 187
Websites of interest
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa
Odonata Atlas of Africa. VMU Number 669130
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species Least Concern
Size Comparison Diagram: Dragonflies and Damselflies
Morphology of a Dragonfly and Damselfly
Map of South Africa