100 1048 Trithemis stictica Jaunty Dropwing Male Ezemvelo Nov 2016r 2 100 1054 Trithemis stictica Jaunty Dropwing Young Male Modjadjie kloof Nov 2016r 1 117 578 Trithemis stictica Jaunty Dropwing

Jaunty Dropwing      Vrolike Valvlerkie

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100 1048 Trithemis stictica Jaunty Dropwing Male Ezemvelo Nov 2016r 2 100 1537 Trithemis stictica Jaunty Dropwing Male Hertzogberg MP RSA Nov 2017r 1 100 1015 Trithemis stictica Jaunty Male Haenertsburg Dropwing RSA Dec 2015r 3
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 Guides:
Short description:

Jaunty Dropwing, Trithemis stictica, Genus Trithemis, Genus Trithemis, Family Libellulidae, is small with a characteristic uniform powdery blue thorax and a black with yellow abdomen with yellow lengthwise dashes either side of a central dorsal black line.

Key identification features:

Males:  100 1048 Trithemis stictica Jaunty Dropwing Male Ezemvelo Nov 2016r 2

  • Eyes are uniformly bluish, with a few black mottles. Vertex and dorsum of frons metallic blue. Back of head is bright black and yellow. 100 1541 Trithemis stictica Jaunty Dropwing Male Hertzogberg MP RSA Nov 2017r 12  100 1542 Trithemis stictica Jaunty Dropwing Male Hertzogberg MP RSA Nov 2017r 14
  • Thorax pruinose pale blue.  100 1538 Trithemis stictica Jaunty Dropwing Male Hertzogberg MP RSA Nov 2017r 5
  • Wings are slightly smoky with hind wing base clear rather than often amber, with faint central orange brown circular patch present (Both sexes). 10-12½ Ax in front wing. Costal, Sub Costal and R1 veins outside of nodus a creamy pink colour.
  • Pterostigmas are dark brown between black margins,
  • Abdomen slender, black with bright yellow dashes along most of its length. Segments 9 and 10 and appendagesall black. 
  • Young males are similar to females.Young Western Cape individuals has brown leadingedges on all wings

Females:  100 1532 Trithemis stictica Jaunty Dropwing Female Hertzogberg MP RSA Nov 2017r 9

  • Very dark from above, blackish and yellow.
  • Thorax side yellow, with a dark brown longitudinal  central zig-zag stripe. Distinct yellow stripe present between wings. 
  • Abdomen is much ticker than that of the male. Yellow markings of abdomen is mainly only along the side.
  • No central circular faint splash on hindwing. Young Western Cape individuals has brown leadingedges on all wings
Compared with other species:
  • Unmistakable.
  • T. stictica is the only species in SA with a pale blue thorax, and black and yellow abdomen, and blue, metallic frons.
Distribution and habitat:
  • Occurs throughout much of South Africa from sea level to 2 000 m elevation, but absent (not yet recorded) from the dry Northern Cape and North Western Provinces.
  • Prefers mostly streams, but also rivers and standing waters, in open landscapes, but sometimes in open areas in forest or shaded by gallery forest. Usually with emergent vegetation and often a sandy, soft (like muddy) and/or probably gravelly bottom, probably especially calmer sections (like pools) with coarse detritus.
  • From 0 to 2200 m above sea level, but mostly below 1900.
Behaviour:
  • Alert as it perches conspicuously on a stick on reed at a pool or river margin, often darting out to defend its territory.
  • Frequently seen on hot days with its abdomen in the upright obelisk position and its wings forward.
Further reading:
(Trithemis stictica)  Jaunty Dropwing Books:
A Guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa
... p 192
Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa ... p 187
The Dragonflies and Damselflies Of Eastern Africa ... p 205
Dragonfly Biotic Index ... p 183

Websites of interest:

Warwick Tarboton
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa

Odonata Atlas of Africa VMU Number 669080
African Dragonflies and Damselflies Online

The IUCR Red List of Threatened Species
Other Information:
Size Comparison Diagram: Dragonflies and Damselflies
Morphology of a Dragonfly
and Damselfly
Map of South Africa

 

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