117 532 Trithemis arteriosa Red veined Dropwing 100 841 Trithemis arteriosa Red vained Dropwing Female Ezemvelo Dec 2016r 2 102 537 2016 12 20 Sabiepark male
Red-veined Dropwing.    Rooinerfie.
Links to images and articles
Short description:

Red-Veined Dropwing, Trithemis arteriosa, Genus Trithemis, Family Libellulidae,  small sized, 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.
  • Young Male and females ar simmilar in colour.


  • Yellowish with black and white stipes .
  • Female and immature males have a yellowish-russet abdomen with a pale streak between the wings.
  • 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 (Violet Dropwing).
  • 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.
Links  to other articles:
Further reading and information:
A Guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa   p. 188
Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa   p. 179
Dragonfly Biotic Indexp. 176
The Dragonflies and Damselflies of Eastern Africa   p. 203

Websites of interest
The IUCN Red List of Threatned Species (Least Threatend)
Odonata Atlas of Africa VMU Number 668670
Warwick Tarboton
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa
Other interesting Information:
Size Comparison Diagram: Dragonflies and Damselflies

Morphology of a Dragonfly Sketch 1 and Sketch 2 and Damselfly
Map of South Africa

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