100 1438 Brachythemis lacustris Red Groundling Male Vaalwater LP Apr 2017r 6 100 2357 Brachythemis lacustris Red Groundling Male Nwanedi LP RSA Dec 2018r 15 100 1445 Brachythemis lacustris Red Groundling Female Tshipise LP Mch 2016r 5

Red Groundling.    Rooigrondwagtertjie

Links to images:
Image Male Female
100 1436 Brachythemis lacustris Red Groundling Male Tshipise LP Mch 2016r 7 100 2371 Brachythemis lacustris Red Groundling Male Close up Nwanedi LP RSA Dec 2018r 4 100 2362 Brachythemis lacustris Red Groundling Female Close up Nwanedi LP RSA Dec 2018r 6
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Short description:

Red GroundlingBrachythemis lacustris, Genus Brachythemis, Family Libellulidae, small sized, stocky, bright red, with a dark brownish red face and eyes and with large orange splashes on wings and broad red abdomen.

Key identification features:

Male:

  • Face and vertex is darkish red 100 2374 Brachythemis lacustris Red Groundling Male Close up Nwanedi LP RSA Dec 2018r 9
  • Dark red eyes above becoming pinkish grey below. Brown bands visible on upper eyes ((diagnostic in Groundlings (Genus Brachythemis)) 100 2374 Brachythemis lacustris Red Groundling Male Close up Nwanedi LP RSA Dec 2018r 9
  • Thorax is bright red to pinkish red 100 2372 Brachythemis lacustris Red Groundling Male Close up Nwanedi LP RSA Dec 2018r 6
  • Wings are all with large, bright orange to dark amber splashes, almost reaching nodus on frontwing but reach the nodus on Hindwing. No cell-doublings in radial planate (Rspl loop) of all wings although rarely 1 or 2. Hindwing is small but broad (22 – 25mm). 100 2379 Brachythemis lacustris Red Groundling Male Close up Nwanedi LP RSA Dec 2018r 18 Pterostigmas relatively short, yellowish brown on inside, dark reddish brown on outside, 2.1–2.2 mm long 100 2380 Brachythemis lacustris Red Groundling Male Close up Nwanedi LP RSA Dec 2018r 1
  • Abdomen is broad swollen at base that hardly tapers. S1-4 is all bright red; with no dark or black markings. S5-10 has a light black line broadening slightly towards S10. This line may dull with age.100 2376 Brachythemis lacustris Red Groundling Male Close up Nwanedi LP RSA Dec 2018r 13  100 2377 Brachythemis lacustris Red Groundling Male Close up Nwanedi LP RSA Dec 2018r 12

Female

  • All yellowish and light brown with few distinctive markings 100 2362 Brachythemis lacustris Red Groundling Female Close up Nwanedi LP RSA Dec 2018r 6
  • Stouter body, 100 2362 Brachythemis lacustris Red Groundling Female Close up Nwanedi LP RSA Dec 2018r 6
  • wings clear, no orange markings. 100 2369 Brachythemis lacustris Red Groundling Female Close up Nwanedi LP RSA Dec 2018r 16
  • Pterostigmas yellow with brown on outside100 2370 Brachythemis lacustris Red Groundling Female Close up Nwanedi LP RSA Dec 2018r 18
Compared with other species:
  • Small in size compared with the Orange-winged Dropwing, Trithemis Kirbyi. 101 598 Trithemis kirbyi Orange winged Dropwing Male Tshipise LP RSA Dec 2016
  • Amber patches reach the nodus but on T. Kirbyi it only reaches about halfway to the nodus.
  • T Kirbyi has a slender abdomen.
  • T. Kirbyi more orange than the deeper red of B. lacustris.
  • Both species prefers to perch on rocks but B. lacustris is highly gregarious and many individuals may be found perched alongside each other
  • T. Kirbyi has red veins in the area of the nodus compared to the black veins if B. Lacustris.
  • Orange in wings of B. lacustris continues intense but it is less intense and not always continuous in T Kirbyi.
  • Female simmilar to female Southern Banded Groundling (B. leucosticta) Lateral stripe on abdomen dark  brown compared with lightish brown on Red Groundling
Distribution and habitat:
  • Mpumalanga, Limpopo and possibly in the northern areas of North West Province New records indicate presence in the western interior of Mpumalanga on the central Gauteng border.
  • Prefers meandering, partially tree-lined, streams and rivers with rocks and fringed with tall grass. Found from 0 to 1800 m above sea level, but mostly below 1100.
Behaviour:
  • Males and females cohabitate
  • Male may pirch in large mumbers near the water (sometimes in the shade)
Further reading:

Books:
A Guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa .  p 186
Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa ... p 174

Dragonfly Biotic Index ... p 171
Dragonflies and Damselflies of Namibia ... P174
Websites of interest:
Warwick Tarboton

A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa
Odonata Atlas of Africa VMU Number 667020
African Dragonflies and Damselflies Online

The IUCR Red list of threatened Species
Other Information:
Size Comparison Diagram: Dragonflies and Damselflies

Morphology of a Dragonfly and Damselfly
Map of South Africa
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