Common Tigertail, Common Tiger Ictinogomphus ferox
Suborder: Anisoptera. Superfamily: Aeshnoidea. Family: Gomphidae
Kruger National ParkDescription
Very large, black and dull yellow, tiger-striped, big head and thorax, long thin abdomen with large club.
Body length: 73-75 mm. Hindwing length: 42-43 mm.
Face: greenish yellow, with small, central, dark brown spot on labrum, and two spots on anteclypeus. Frons in front with fine, brown bar, joined to a small, central line above. Frons sharply angled with fine lip. Head above black with yellow to yellow-green markings, including two small, yellow horns and a central, yellow ocellus. bluish grey.
Eyes: bluish grey.
Prothorax: yellow and black blotches.
Synthorax: narrow, all dark brown, and wide dull yellow to yellow-green stripes.
Wings: clear, with sharp, black veins, becoming smoky in old individuals.
Pterostigmas: very long (5.5-6 mm), pitch black
Abdomen: alternately brownish black and dull, greyish yellow. Very large, round foliations on S8, black with a little basal yellow. Superior appendages long, pointed and yellow with a little black only on tip, and some small denticles. Inferior appendages crooked, yellow with black tip.
Female: very similar to male, even in striping and foliations.Distribution
Its range includes Angola, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Somalia, South Africa, and Zambia, among other areas.
Gauteng, Limpopo, common in coastal KwaZulu-Natal (up to 250 m a.s.l., rarely 700 m a.s.l., one individual 1400 m a.s.l.). North to Central Africa. Habitat
It prefers to reside in tropical habitats with abundant vegetation, near freshwater rivers, streams, and lakes. Dams, pools, marshes and still reaches of rivers with abundance of reeds, grasses and stout twigs on which to perch. Margins of sluggish rivers and marshes, coastal KwaZulu-Natal northwards. Biology
Flight period: November to May.
Perches with abdomen straight or slightly raised on strong twig or reed 1-2 m above water margin. Sometimes hawking among savanna trees, even at dusk. Conservation Status
This species is thought to be common with a stable population, but it is threatened by habitat loss due to water pollution and agricultural practices. Research regarding all aspects of this dragonfly is recommended, but no conservation efforts are needed. The common tigertail appears on the IUCN Red List with a conservation status of “Least Concern.”
Links: Warwick Tarboton Photos
Kruger National Park
Kruger National Park, Letaba