102 533 2016 12 20 flapper 2 125 501 Flapper Hooktail Male KZN RSA Dec 2017r 3 100 1783 Paragomphus sabicus Flapper Hooktail Female Ndumu Mch 2017r 10
Flapper Hooktail.     Bosskepper
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Short description:

Flapper Hooktail, Paragomphus sabicus, Genus Paragomphus, Family Gomphidae, is fairly large to large, black and yellow with a slight greenish hue, a large dark club and distinctive long slenderly tapered cerci.

Key identification features:

Face mostly bright, light yellow. Top of nose and head is black with a yellow bar between the eyes. Occiput is yellow. Labrum is yellow with black base. Thorax is black with 3 broad pale stripes and between them 2 series of spots (Diagnostic). Tip of cerci diverge, are slender, tapered, and finely pointed with brown tips. The lower appendages (epiproct) are laterally rounded, longer than or almost as long as S10 or longer, not so strongly curved upward. The epiproct reaches about midpoint of cerci, without distinct median knob to males.
Female are similar to male but with smaller foliations and the black patterning on the side of the thorax and the abdomen is diagnostic.

Similar to Gomphidia quarrei (Southern Fingertail), Ictinogomphus ferox (Common Tigertail), Onychogomphus supinus (Lined Claspertail) and Paragomphus magnus (Great Hooktail). The major differences are in the claspers and foliations. O. quarrei has no foliations and short slender upper appendages with a very short lower appendage. O. supinus have inferior appendages that are very fine, upwardly curved with two fine prongs when viewed from side. I. Ferox has inferior (lower) appendages that curves upwards to touch the superior appendages and large foliations below S 8. P. magnus has very large superior appendages with the tips curving back to almost face S 10 and no foliations. P. sabicus has 3 spots between the 2 broad stripes on the thorax. Humeral stripes are broken into a dot and a stripe. P. sabicus has superior appendages that are long, slender and gently curved down and outwards, yellow with brown tips. The abdominal stripes, dorsal thorax and the markings on the side of the thorax are diagnostic in the mentioned species.

Distribution and habitat:

Prefers mostly rivers, but also streams, shaded by gallery forest, but sometimes found in open landscapes. Often waters with a sandy bottom and probably rocks. Found from 0 to 1200 m above sea level.


Perches on bushes or twigs (sometimes high of the ground) in savanna, often away from water.

Further reading and other information:

Distribution Map
The Dragonflies and Damselflies of Eastern Africa ... p.124
A Guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa p. 126
Dragonfly Biotic Index ... p. 128
Odonata Atlas of Africa Number 665890
Warwick Tarboton 
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species Least Concern
African Dragonflies & Damselflies Online
Other Information:
Size Comparison Diagram Dragonflies, Damselflies
Morphology of a Dragonfly,  Damselfly
Map of South Africa

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