Highlands Dropwing. Hooglandvalvlerkie.
Trithemis dorsalis (Rambur, 1842)
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- Guide to Dropwings - General (Trithemis)
- Guide to Dropwings - Blue
- Guide to Dropwings - Red/Orange/Brown
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.) 10-12½ Ax in Fw [8½-14½]
- 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.