118 503 Macrodiplax cora Coastal Penant Male Kosi Bay KZN Apr 2016r 1 118 512 Macrodiplax cora Coastal Penant Male Mpempe Pan KZN Mch 2017r 2 118 513 Macrodiplax cora Coastal Penant Male Mpempe Pan KZN Mch 2017r 3

Coastal Pennant.   Kuswimpel.

Also known as Coastal Glider, Wandering Pennant, Cora’s Pennant, Estuarine Skimmer (India).
Link to our pimage gallery of costal Pennant
Close-up images of Costal Pennant for identification assistance.


Short description:

Coastal pennants, Macrodiplax cora, Genus Macrodiplax, Family Libellulidae, medium sized, deep reddish brown with a dark band across the face, bright red abdomen with a with a broad black middorsal line extending from base to tip broadening slightly towards the superior appendages.

Key identification features:


  • Face and top of head is deep reddish brown with darker band across postclypeus.
  • Eyes are large, deep red above, reddish brown and grey below.
  • Thorax is deep reddish brown with dark brown markings.
  • Wings are clear, except for small amber patch at base of hindwings.
  • Pterostigmas are reddish brown 2.8mm.
  • Abdomen is bright red with strongly contrasting black stripe of varying width, broken at each segmental joint into hour glass-like markings.


  • Light orange-yellow thorax and abdomen. 
  • Immature male looks similar to the female except that its colours is a little darker.
Compared with other species:
  • M. cora is superficially like several species 
  • Red Basker, Urothemis assignata, St. Lucia Basker, Urothemis Luciana, and the Pygmy Basker, Aethriamanta rezia,
  • There are several red coloured species that needs close inspection to identify correctly.
    • Aethriamanta rezia, Pygmy Basker: Very amall. Eyes brown with red cap on top, mottled grey below. Thorax with black shoulder stripe. Legs black. Wings all with small dark brown flares at the base, hindwings with additional small patch just behind flares, flares are surrounded by amber halo. 6 Ax veins. Pterostigmas reddish brown 2mm. Abdomen wide, bright red with regular black ladder running along entire top. Segment 1 blackish. Superior appendages red.
    • Urothemis assignata, Red Basker: Stout, bright red. Eyes deep red above, mottleld dark and light grey below. Leggs light red. Hindwings have large dark red angular basal patches with amber hallow. Forewing has small traces of amber at the base. Wing veins red. Pterostigma yellow brown 4mm. Last Ax vein complete. Abdomen segments 5 -9 have black above with median ladder-like stripe of uneven width, widest on s 8 - 9. Appendages of moderate length, red.
    • Macrodiplax cora. Coastal Pennant: Wings clear, except for small amber patch at base of hindwings. Abdomen bright red with along top strongly contrasting black hour glass shaped stripe of varying width, broken at each segmental joint.
    • Tramea basilaris, Keyhole Glider, Hindwing patches distinctive keyhole shaped. Thorax dull orange above dark brownish grey with dark brown areas along the side. Abdomen segment 8 triangular shaped mark, S 9 -10 black above. Superior appendages long, dark brown with light base.
    • Tholymis tillarga, Twister. Hindwings with dark brown patch just inside nodus in front half, with white patch outside of it and diffuse amber area inside it. Forewings with diffuse amber area at bases of wings. Abdomen tapered, light red. Appendages long, red, black at tips.
Distribution and habitat:
  • Found from the western Pacific to the eastern African coast, and it appears to be an occasional vagrant to South Africa.
  • Further demographic data is required to establish the true presence in coastal eastern Africa.
  • It inhabits predominantly coastal pools in marshland among coastal bush.
  • Perches on twigs and makes frequent dashes out and returns to its perch, ccasionally, they would fight one another but returned to the same perch.
Further reading:
http://vmus.adu.org.za/vm_map_afr.php?&database=odonata&grid=2&outline=1&key=0&map=4&spp=667420 Books:
A Guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa...p 212
Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa...p 203
Dragonfly Biotic Index...p 200
Dragonflies and Damselflies of Eastern
Africa..p. 172

A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa

Odonata of India
Dragonflies and Damselflies of Vietnam
Dragonflies and Damselflies of Songapore
Atlas of Living Australia
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species Least concern
Odonata Atlas of Africa VMU Number 667420
Other Information:
Size Comparison Diagram Dragonflies, Damselflies
Morphology of a
Dragonfly, Sketch 1, Sketch 2,  Damselfly
Map of South Africa

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