100 930 Trithemis furva Navy Dropwing Male Nwanedi LP RSA Dec 2015 1 r 2 100 933 Trithemis furva Navy Dropwing Young Male Badplaas MP RSA Nov 2016r 3 100 942 Trithemis furva Navy dropwing femal Broken wing Jan 2016 r 2 of 2

Navy Dropwing.   Blouvalvlerkie

Trithemis furva (Karsch, 1899)
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Trithemis furva Navy Dropwing Male Nwanedi LP RSA Dec 2015    
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Short description: 

Trithemis furva, Navy Dropwing, Genus Trithemis, is medium sized and all dark blue with yellow facial markings.

Key identification features:


  • Face light yellowish brown, dark brown and black.
  • Eyes dark purplish brown, lighter below.
  • Thorax and abdomen dark blue.
  • Wings are clear with very small basal amber patch on hindwings.
  • Both sexes the last Ax vein is mostly incomplete. This may vary from specimen to specimen where one wing Ax vein may be complete (probably the left) Pterostigmas brownish black, 3 mm.


  • Yellowish with black markings.
  • Thorax has black zigzag line alongside.
  • Abdomen with narrow black stripe running along its top.
  • Wings each slightly smoky around nodus and tip, hindwings with small basal splash.
  • Pterostigmas yellowish brown, becoming dark brown with age.
Compared with other species:
  • The Navy Dropwing, T. Furva Trithemis furva Navy Dropwing Male Nwanedi LP RSA Dec 2015 and the Highlands Dropwing, Trithemis dorsalis, Trithemis dorsalis Highlands Dropwing Male Kloofzight GP RSA Oct 2016 is virtually indistinguishable in the field.
  • A guide however, is firstly the habitat, being usually rocky rivers at low elevations. Secondly pterostigmas that are usually all brownish black, with no white end-veins, and thirdly, a female which has a single zig-zaggy thoracic side stripe.
  • Also, the blue of the male is not so colourful and more blackish than in T. dorsalis.
  • It is essential to examine secondary genitalia, with scythe-like hamules and bristle tuft on anterior lamina.
    Link to simmilar species
    Trithemis donaldsoni (Denim Dropwing)
        Trithemis dorsalis (Highland Dropwing)
Distribution and habitat:
  • Most of South Africa but with insufficient records for the Dry central parts.
  • 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.
  • Mostly perches on rocks, where it looks almost blackish, or on twigs and reeds at water's edge.
  • Female usually away from the water, among tall grass or small bushes.
Further reading:
http://vmus.adu.org.za/vm_map_afr.php?&database=odonata&grid=2&outline=1&key=0&map=4&spp=%20668890 Books
A Guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa   . 194
Dragonfly Biotic Index    p. 179
Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa   p.182
Warwick Tarboton
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species  Least Concern
Odonata Atlas of Africa VMU Number 661790
Africa Dragonflies&Damselflies Online
Other Information:
Size Comparison Diagram Dragonflies, Damselflies
Morphology of a
Dragonfly, and a Damselfly
Map of South Africa



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