118 504 Anaciaeschna triangulifera Enseleni NR 1 122 504 Evening Hawker Anaciaeschna triangulifera Old Airport 24 Nov 12r 1 122 503 Evening Hawker female Anaciaeschna triangulifera Dragonfly Empisini 8 Jan 12r

Evening Hawker.    Nagventer.

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118 504 Anaciaeschna triangulifera Enseleni NR 1
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Short description:

Evening Hawker, Anaciaeschna triangulifera, Genus Anaciaeschna, Family Aeshnidae, is very large, slender, dark brown with bright blue eyes, head and abdominal saddle, and greenish and blue abdominal spots.

Key identification features:


  • Face is light blue going to pale grey at sides and towards labrum. Frons above is light blue with a deep black, mushroom-like marking and about ½ as wide as head. Vertex is blue. Two pale dots in front of the eyes.
  • Eyes are bright sky blue above, light blue below.
  • Synthorax is dull brown with some greenish yellow spots (but no shoulder stripes) and two, bright yellow diagonal stripes on side. Auricles are present
  • Wings are lightly smoky to very smoky in old individuals. Veins black. Pterostigmas is fairly short (3.2 mm), reddish brown. Membranule large, broadly bordering anal triangle for more, than ½ its length and is whitish towards the rest of the wing, becoming dark grey closest to abdomen. Hindwing tornus is angled. Hindwing cubital field is always of 2 rows at base.
  • Abdomen very slender and mostly deep chocolate brown and shiny. S1 has a blue bar above, and yellow one below. From above, S2 is brown in anterior half but bright blue behind. S2 below is yellow and brown. S3 has a bright patch in anterior half at side and below. The rest of abdomen has small, light blue spots, becoming larger on S8-10.


  • Much stouter than male.
  • Face is yellowish but with a similar pattern on frons.
  • Eyes are sienna above with bright yellow margin below.
  • Abdomen is reddish brown with pale blue markings
Compared with other species:
  • Unmistakable.
  • Bright blue head and eyes,
  • Bright yellow thorax side stripes and long, thin abdomen is diagnostic.
  • No shoulder stripes.
  • Mushroom-shaped, black marking on frons is also distinctive.
  • Similar to Forest Hawker, Z. usambarica, but are medium-sized (hindwing 41-45 mm) and the male’s face is bluish white, the eyes are bright blue (but brown when young), and the small abdomen spots are also bluish.
Distribution and habitat:
  • In southern Africa, this species is known from Mozambique, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia.
  • It is encountered mostly in forest, from highlands down to sea-level. It probably breeds in standing water.
  • Dusk flier over reeds and in clearings in warm areas.
Further reading:

A guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa...p. 116
Dragonfly Biotic Index...p. 106
Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa...p. 115
Wawwick Tarboton
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa
Encyclopedia of Life
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species   Least Concern
Odonata Atlas of Africa VMU Number 664070.
African Dragonflies and Damselflies Online
Other Information:
Size Comparison Diagram Dragonflies, Damselflies
Glossary of Dragonfly and Damselfly Terms and Abbreviations
Morphology of a Dragonfly,  Damselfly
Map of South Africa

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