Highlands Dropwing. Hooglandvalvlerkie.
Links to articles and Images.
- A Guide to Identification of Dropwings (Trithemis) in General
- A Guide to Identify Blue Dropwings (Genus Trithemis)
- Links to image gallery for Highland Dropwing
- Close-up for identification assistance.
- Click on links and images to open and enlarge
Key identification features:
- Face is light yellow brown, dark brown and black.
- Eyes are dark purple brown, lighter below.
- Thorax and abdomen deep blue.
- Wings clear, small basal amber patch present on hindwing. Last Ax vein crosses the subcostal vein to join the radial vein (called Ax vein complete.)
- Yellowish with black markings.
- Thorax has two pairs of diagonal black zigzag lines on either side. Wings have small smoky patches near bases and at nodus.
- Abdomen has a wide black band running along the top.
- Pterostigmas are yellowish brown, becoming dark brown with age.
Compared with other species:
- Almost impossible distinguish the male Highland Dropwing from the male Navy Dropwing in the field.
- Presence of small white stripe on the outer sides of the pterostigma would suggest the Highland Dropwing,
- Presence of a white patch in the form of a Nike logo in the pterostigma would suggest the Navy Dropwing.
- Further corroborating habits include its high elevation territory (co-habitats in the mid altitudes) and still water habitat. Tendency to perch on grasses.
- The only definitive identification characteristic is the shape of the hamule hook, which is rounded in the Highland Dropwing, but claw-shaped in the Navy Dropwing.
Distribution and habitat:
- Most of South Africa, but with little known presence in the dry central and western interior.
- Standing waters, rivers and streams in open landscapes. Often with emergent vegetation and a soft (like muddy) bottom.
- From 0 to 2400 m above sea level, but mostly between 1000 and 2100.
- Mostly streams, but also rivers, in open landscapes and open areas in forest.
- Often with emergent vegetation and rocks. From 0 to 2500 m above sea level, but mostly below 2000.
A Guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africap. p. 194
Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa p. 181
Dragonfly Biotic Index p. 178
Websites of interest:
Odonata Atlas of Africa VMU Number 668870
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa
African Dragonflies & Damselflies Online
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Size Comparison Diagram Dragonflies, Damselflies
Morphology of a Dragonfly, Sketch 1, Sketch 2, Damselfly
Map of South Africa