Elfs

Family Libellulidae        (Leach, 1815)

Distribution Worldwide
  • From tropical Africa, across southern Asia to Australia,
Africa
  • 8 species in tropical Africa 
  • Distinct and may still be reclassified as the genus Neophlebia
General identification features
  • Seven species are nearly identical, small (hindwing 20-25 mm) and black marked with yellow or green, preferring rainforest pools and swamps, differing mainly in their appendages.
  • T.. polleni, however, is larger (hindwing 22-30 mm) and mature males have entirely grey pruinose bodies and largely dark wings.
Habitat and behaviour
  • T. polleni, shady pools in savanna, woodland and forest edge, like muddy watering holes and puddles in drying streambeds.
  • The other 7 species prefer rain forest pools and swamps.
  • Males of all species perch conspicuously at suitable pools, flying into the trees when disturbed.
  • Females lay their eggs while settled on plants or sticks (or similar substrates) above the water surface. Often perch occupied by the mating male 

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