102 005 Citril Monkey 117 001 Ceriagrion glabrum Common Citril 102 008 Citril Uvongo tandem

 Common Citril.  Gewone Aljander.

(Burmeister, 1839)

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Images in nature of Common Citril (Ceriagrion glabrum)
Close-up for identification assistance.
Male. Teneral female

Short description:

Common Citril, Ceriagrion glabrum, Genus Ceriagrion, Family Coenagrionidae, is a medium-sized, primarily orange in colour, with two, minute projections on S10

Key identification features:

Face and head dull orange. The eyes are greenish with dark grey cap. Thorax is orange, darker above, lighter below with a greenish tinge, particularly below. Wings are clear. Pterostigmas are dark rusty brown with fine pale yellow borders. The abdomen is bright orange. Segment 10 has two small (teeth-like), distinct backward-pointing projections on hind margin. Females are similar to males but slightly more robust, duller, browner and greener.

Compared with other species:

The only common bright, all-orange species throughout most of SA, except in the lowveld where the much rarer Suave Citril, Ceriagrion suave, occurs. C. glabrum has two prominent, black-tipped, multiple-pointed (teeth-like) projections on the hind margin of S10, while C. Sauve does not have these projections. The inferior appendages of C. glabrum are longer than the superior appendages of C. suave.

Distribution and habitat:

Common in the northern and eastern half of South Africa , and along the coastal areas to the Western Cape.
Frequents pools, marshes and sluggish reaches of rivers with an abundance of tall grass, sedges and reeds. Sometimes an open habitat, with trees nearby, or even in thick forest.


Rests and hovers among tall grass and other vegetation, sometimes some distance away from the water's edge. Females are often with males and mating pairs are common.

Further reading:

Distribution Map

A Guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa. ... p. 60 
Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa. ... p. 72
Dragonfly Biotic Index. ... p. 64
The Dragonflies and Damselflies of Eastern Africa. ... p. 66
The UICN Red List of Threatened Species
Odonata Atlas of Africa VMU Number 662720

A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa
Warwick Tarboton
African Dragonflies and Damselflies Online
Other 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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