100 1885 Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Male Bloemhof NWP RSA Apr 2015r 3 100 1884 Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Male Bloemhof NWP RSA Apr 2015r 1 101 524A Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Female Tshipise LP RSA March 2015

Common Hooktail.   Gewone Hakiestert

Previously called Green Hooktail.

Links to images and articles:
Short Decription:

Common Hooktail, Paragomphus genei, Genus Paragomphus, Family Gomphidae, medium-sized, with green head and thorax, and yellow and dark brown abdomen with reddish brown club, that freqents wet, gravel
beaches of savanna rivers.

Key identification features:

Male 100 1884 Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Male Bloemhof NWP RSA Apr 2015r 1

  • Face is mostly light green. Labrum, anteclypeus, postclypeus and entire frons is bright green with some brown smudging. Head brown with spots above, green at back.  100 2493 Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Male Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2019r 16
  • Eyes are dark greenish brown. 100 2493 Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Male Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2019r 16
  • Thorax is bright green with two smudgy dark brown stripes. Dorsal thorax makings are green with well smudged greenish brown stripes (indistinct). Dorsal thorax pattern faded brown markings 100 947 Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Male Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2019r 5 The thorax  dark brownish markings are sharp, clearly delimiting pale postdorsal and antehumeral stripes.100 952 Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Male Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2019r 9
  • Wings clear to slightly greenish smoky. Pterostigmas black with central light brow/green stripes, 3 mm long.100 2499 Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Male Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2019r 32
  • Abdomen segments 1 - 3 is green, blackish brown and a little yellow. S 2 has distinct "U" shaped pattern in lateral view. 100 947 Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Male Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2019r 5. S 1 - 7 100 2494 Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Male Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2019r 17 with yellow and blackish brown partial rings. First half of Segment 7 is bright yellow, second half dark brown. S 8 - 10 is dark brown with some faint yellow blotches, giving a reddish appearance. Foliations on S 8 large relative to small foliages on s 9, 100 2494 Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Male Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2019r 17 S 9 longer than s10. S10 in dorsal view has two (2) (almost blended into  one (1) small yellow dots either side of the dorsal carina 100 673 Common Hooktail222S7 S10 Description
  • Superior appendages conspicuously yellowish, fairly long, curved. Superior twice as long as inferior. Inferior appendages curved upwards, blackish. 100 2495 Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Male Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2019r 18

Female  101 524A Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Female Tshipise LP RSA March 2015

  • Similar to male but the body markings is less distinctive
  • May have blue in the lower eye. 100 2591 Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Female Close up Bang Neck KZN RSA Mch 2019r 16
  • Dorsal thorax pattern is green with indistinct faded brown stripes (contrary to male markings). 100 1877 Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Female Close up Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2018r 9
  • Wings Smokey. Pterostigmas black with central light brow/green stripes, 3 mm long  100 2595 Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Female Close up Bang Neck KZN RSA Mch 2019r 25
  • Abdomen is stout. S 2 has narrow anchor shape (crescent shaped) pattern in lateral view. 100 2588 Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Female Close up Bang Neck KZN RSA Mch 2019r 7 This is Diagnostic for this species female. S 7 hind opproximate 1/3 dark brown, front  yellow. 100 2593 Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Female Close up Bang Neck KZN RSA Mch 2019r 22  Foliations virtually absent. 100 2592 Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Female Close up Bang Neck KZN RSA Mch 2019r 18  Upper claspers thin, yellow becoming dark towards the tip.100 2593 Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Female Close up Bang Neck KZN RSA Mch 2019r 22
Compared with other species:

Males

  • Cerci (claspers) on P. elpidius (Corkscrew Hooktail) are thicker (less slender), apex blunt, without or with one tooth, without distinct ventral ridge. Epiproct is about 1/3 as long as cerci and not curving upwards. Tips of Cerci (upper claspers) tend to curve in towards S 10.
  • Cerci on P. genei (Common Hooktail)have dark tips. 100 673 Common Hooktail222S7 S10 Description  Thorax has dark brownish markings that is sharp  100 947 Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Male Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2019r 5 , clearly delimiting pale postdorsal and antehumeral stripes100 952 Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Male Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2019r 9   Rear thorax strip in p. elpidius forms a "Y" shape fork towards the front thorax stripe.
  • Brownish postdorsal and antihumeral stripes on P. genei tend to be undefined almost smudged.  100 952 Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Male Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2019r 9
  • S 7 on P. elpidius is yellow in first half and brown in second. On P. genei s 7 is bright yellow, first 2/3, ending in well-defined pattern with dark brown hind 1/3. 100 673 Common Hooktail222S7 S10 Description P. cognatis has broun lateral stipe  (diagnistic). 100 1480 Paragomphus cognatus Rock Hooktail Male Wilgerivier MP RSA Nov 2017r 39  P. elpidius s 7 is bright yellow, first 1/2, ending in well-defined pattern with dark brown hind half.
  • P. Genei has small club (s 8 large with s 9 small). 100 2495 Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Male Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2019r 18 P cognatus (Rock Hooktail) small yellow with dark lower edge. P. elpidius has very large club and foliages.  
  • P. genei S 10 has distinctive yellow spot around the dorsal carina.100 673 Common Hooktail222S7 S10 Description

Females

  • In lateral view dorsal thorax pattern of P genei has faded brown stripes  100 1877 Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Female Close up Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2018r 9 compared with the well-defined stripes of P. elpidius.
  • S2 on P. genei has a clear narrow anchor shape marking. 100 2588 Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Female Close up Bang Neck KZN RSA Mch 2019r 7  P. elpidius. a "C".pattern with the inside of the "C" brown touching s 1. P. cognatis has a square yellow/green  pattern with a  brown square inside pattern that ma open to s 3.
  • S 10 on P. elpidius same lengths as s 9 but much shorter on P. genei. 100 673 Common Hooktail222S7 S10 Description
  • P. Genei has small club (s 7  large with s 8 almost nonexistent)
Distribution and habitat:
  • Recorded from the Western Cape and the Eastern Cape, but abundant records from KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga Gauteng and Limpopo Province
  • It occurs along moist, gravel or sandy shores of savanna rivers, occasionally on the exposed shores of pools and dams, and temporary waters. This is one of the few Gomphidae that is able to complete larval development in less than a year (about two months). It is assumed to be multivoltine (more than one broods per year). The species often has enormous larval populations of up to 100 individuals per square m in perennial sections of ephemeral rivers. But also large populations e.g., in lower Orange and lower Kunene River.
Behaviour:

It perches with its abdomen raised at a slight angle at the water’s edge, darts off rapidly but returns again to the shore.

Further reading and other information:

Books
A Guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa   p. 134
Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa.    p. 135
The Dragonflies and Damselflies of Eastern Africa   p. 124

Dragonfly Biotic Index   p. 126
Websites of interest
Warwick Tarboton.
Waterberg BioQuest
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa
Odonata Atlas of Africa VMU Number 6665790
The IUCN red list of Threatened Species 
Least Concern
Other Information:
Size Comparison Diagram: Dragonflies and Damselflies

Morphology of a Dragonfly and Damselfly
Map of South Africa
 

 

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