118 520 Yellowjack Notogomphus praetorius male Iphiti 22 Dec 07 1105 507 Notogomphus praetorius Yellowjack Mkomazi River Apr 2014 1121 502 SM7 0274

Yellowjack.   Klaverboer

Family Gomphidae Rambur, 1842

Also known as Yellowjack Longleg

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118 520 Yellowjack Notogomphus praetorius male Iphiti 22 Dec 07 1Images121 503 SM7 0267Male121 503 SM7 0267Female

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Short description:

Fairly large, but without a club, with long, mid-dorsal bright yellows tripe running length of abdomen. The Notogomphus family is also known as Longlegs.

Key identification features:


  • Face pale greenish yellow. Nose pronounced and is raised. Head is shiny black with two fine yellow crossbars from above.
  • Eyes are bluish grey. Neck is black with yellow spots.
  • Thorax boldly and brightly striped in bright yellow and black.
  • Wings are slightly smoky, especially at tips. Costa is bright yellow, darkening with age. Pterostigmas are long (4 mm), dark brown between black veins. A
  • Distinguishing feature is the femora (upper leg) of hind legs that is very long, almost reaching segment 3.
  • Abdomen with bright yellow line running its length along the top, yellow line bordered by equally wide black lines running length of abdomen.
  • Foliations are absent.
  • Superior appendages of medium length, yellowish in first half, then black, terminating in distinct spines. These appendages are pointing sharply outwards and are a distinguishing feature. Inferior appendages are fairly long, brown and black, with blunt point.


  • Similar in colour, but stouter.
  • Lack markings on abdomen but more pronounced
Compared with other species:
  • With Paragomphus cognatus, Rock Hooktail, 100 604 Male Ezemvelo Jan 2016 r 1 of 1 the only two Gomphids commonly at high elevation montane streams.
  • Notogomphus praetorius is very brightly black and yellow striped, with distinctly yellow leading veins in all four wings.
  • From above, this species is unmistakable by its longitudinally striped abdomen (unlike most Gomphids, which have ringed abdomen). There is a central longitudinal bright yellow line, bordered by similar black lines. Another distinguishing feature is its long femora on hind legs, which reach the secondary genitalia.
  • Appendages are also distinctive.
Distribution and habitat:

 YEellowjack.   Notogomphus praetoriusMontane species that is common in higher elevation areas of KZN, also ECP, MP, LP, Lesotho.
Recent records confirm presence in eastern GP. Frequents verges of open, clear, fast flowing high elevation
(usually above 1000m a.s.l.) streams, with tall grass or on boulders beside or in clear areas next to the streams.
Very occasionally near high-elevation dams.

  • Unlike most other Gomphids, this species is a weak flier, easily disturbed from bankside grassland, where it soon lands again. Also, sits on warm stones in small streams.
  • Mostly a late-season species but has been seen in Gauteng in mid October..
Further reading:
Websites of interest:
Warwick Tarboton
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa
Odonata Atlas of Africa VMU Number 665480
African Dragonflies and Damselflies Online
The IUCR Red list of threatened Species    Least Concern



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