Red-veined Dropwing Trithemis arteriosa
Suborder: Anisoptera. Superfamily Libelluloidea. Family: Libellulidae
Male, Kruger National Park
Male, Kruger National ParkDescription
Medium-sized (wingspan 58 mm). Body length: 32–36 mm. Hindwing length: 26–27.5 mm
The most common slender red species in South Africa. Small, slender, bright red, with bright red wing veins and black on side of tip of abdomen.
Eyes blood red. Synthorax red with black side stripes, and sometimes with a purple bloom on top of the synthorax. Wings have bright red veins and light orange splashes at the bases of all wings. The black wedge shape along the tip of the slender abdomen is one of the clearest features.
The female and immature red-veined dropwing, have a yellowish-russet abdomen with a pale streak between the wings.
Both the male and female red-veined dropwing have large crimson eyes. The distinctive lower mouthparts are yellow with a central bronze stripe. Black splashes run along the sides of the abdomen, increasing in size up to the tip, which is entirely black.
Face: deep red. Labium deep yellow with central, dark brown stripe. Labrum dark red with black, notched patch on lower margin. Anteclypeus, postclypeus and front of frons dark red. Top of frons and vertex, dimpled, deep red, with metallic purple sheen.
Eyes: blood red.
Synthorax: red with black side stripes, and sometimes with purple bloom on top.
Wings: with bright red veins, and light orange splashes at bases of all wings, but larger in hindwing, reaching discoidal cell. In SW of WCP, these wing splashes are darker, more broken and less extensive.
Pterostigmas: deep reddish brown, 2.3-2.4 mm long.
Abdomen: slender and bright red. In side view, S6-8 have black wedges that become increasingly wide, until S9, which is all black. S10 black.
Female: dark brown, yellowish brown and straw, with orange wing splashes like male, and pale stripe between wings. In SW of Western Cape, there is a form with smoky nodal patches.Distribution
Widespread and common in Africa and can also be found across southern Europe and parts of the Middle East. Very common and abundant throughout South Africa.Habitat
Pools, dams, marches and sluggish reaches of rivers. Commonly seen perching on reeds or dead branches emerging from the water. Biology
Flight period: All year, but more common in summer months.
Perches conspicuously on emergent twigs or reeds at water's edge, but on hot days will move into the shade of trees.
, Warwick Tarboton
, Africa Dragonfly Photos
Female, Marakele National Park, Tlopi camp
Male Red-veined Dropwing and male Broad Scarlet, Kruger National Park
Male, Kruger National Park
Garden in Johannesburg