101 507 Olpogastra lugubris Bottletail Male Tshipise LP RSA December 2012 119 042 Bottletail I5A3297 101 505 Olpogastra lugubris Bottletail Female Tshipise LP RSA January 2015

Bottletail.  Lenige Bottlstert.  

Also known as Slender Bottletail

Links to images and articles:

Short description:

Olpogastra lugubris, Bottletail, Genus Olpogastra, Family Libellulidae, is large in size with very elongated abdomen with extremely swollen abdomen (bulbous) base.

Key identification features:


  • Face dark brown, dull yellow and brownish metallic bluish green. Labrum dark brown. Anteclypeus dull yellow. Postclypeus dull yellow with dark brown arch. Frons lower margin dull yellow, rest of frons dark brown with metallic bluish green, dimpled shine. Vertex brownish metallic bluish green or indistinct dull yellowish spot in front
  • Thorax dark brown with metalic green shine with about 10 yello iregular shaped spotsellow spotted thorax.
  • Wings have black veins and a large, central amber suffusion, especially on hindwing. Pterostigmas are brown and long.
  • Base of the abdomen is very bulbous (S1-2) contracting to a very narrow S3 -10, widening slightly towards the hind margin. Base of abdomen with large, dull yellow stripes and spots. Small yellow spots at base and sides of S5-7, longest on S7. S8- 10 black.


  •  Similar to males but with more distinct amber markings in the wing
Compared with other species:
  • Unmistakable behaviour and coloration in the described habitat.
Distribution and habitat:
  • Monotypic and endemic to tropical Africa.
  • In South Africa it occurs in the hot north eastern Lowveld areas of LP and MP and the far northern edge of KZNP
  • Frequents large perennial open rivers even with strong (including swift flowing) currents. Sometimes in streams and lakes with (dense) sedges or reeds.
  • Perches conspicuously along open rivers. Very aggressive towards other dragonflies.
Further reading:
Bottletail,Olpogastra lugubris). Distribution Map Books
The Dragonflies and Damselflies of Eastern Africa. ... p.180
A guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Afirca ... p.202
Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa. ... p. .191
Dragonflies and Damselflies of Namibia. ... p. 250
Dragonfly Biotic Index.    p. 188

Warwick Tarboton.
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa

Odonata Atlas of Africa VMU Number 667760
African Dragonflies & Damselflies Online
The IUCN Red List of Threatned Species. Least Concern
African Dragonflies & Damselflies Online
Other Information:
Size Comparison Diagram Dragonflies, Damselflies
Morphology of a
Dragonfly,  Damselfly
Map of South Africa

Right Click

Copyrighted material - contact us if you want to buy a photo