117 532 Trithemis arteriosa Red veined Dropwing 100 841 Trithemis arteriosa Red vained Dropwing Female Ezemvelo Dec 2016r 2
Red-veined Dropwing.    Rooinerfie.

(Burmeister 1839)

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Male. Young Male Teneral male. Female.

Short description:

Trithemis arteriosa, Genus Trithemis, Family Libellulidae, Red-Veined Dropwing, is a dragonfly that is small, slender, bright red, with bright red wing veins and black on side of tip of abdomen.

Key identification features:

Well defined red veins in wings. Bright red abdomen with very diagnostic black markings on the side. S 8-10 is black on top. Sometime a violet colored sheen is visible on top of the thorax. Pterostigmas is deep reddish brown. Amber patches in the hindwing.
Females are yellowish with the abdominal markings similar to that of the male.

Compared with other species:

Sometime a violet colored sheen is visible on top of the thorax. This must not be confused with the violet colour thorax of T. annulata. The abdominal markings of T. annulata differ significantly with less black on the side.

Distribution and habitat:

Probably the most populated species in the region of Southern Africa.
Frequents pools, dams, marshes and still and sluggish reaches of rivers.


Perches conspicuously on emergent twigs or reeds at water's edge, but on hot days will move into the shade of trees. Females sometimes found well away from the water.

Further reading:
A Guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa
Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa
Dragonfly Biotic Index
The IUCN Red List of Threatned Species (Least Threatend)
Odonata Atlas of Africa VMU Number 668670
p. 188
P. 179
P. 176

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