Paragomphus elpidius Corkscrew Hooktail 109 505 Corcksrew 5100 1089 Paragomphus elipidius Corckscrew Hooktail Fermale Ndumu Mch 2017r 5

Corckscrew Hooktail.     Slingerhakiestert

Paragomphus elpidius (Ris, 1921)

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Short description:

Corkscrew Hooktail, Paragomphus elpidius, Genus Paragomphus, Family Gomphidae, is medium sized, greenish, yellowish and brown, with a reddish brown to dark brown club.

Key identification features:


  • Eyes are pale greyish blue. Labrum is pale yellow, at most vaguely darkened at base with indistinct brownish basal band.
  • Thorax is yellow to green with more prominent brown to black markings that on the metastigma ends just dorsal of it, The brown stripe forms a narrow "V"  Dorsal thorax marking bright and well defined.
  • Pterostigmas are brown, not contrasting with black veins
  • Abdomen is black with yellow partial rings. S8-9 has broad foliations. S 9 = 10 in length. Upper claspers (cerci) slender, apex is blunt, without or with one tooth. Without distinct ventral ridge; Lower clasper (epiproct) about 1/3 as long as upper clasper (cerci). 


  • Female similar, slightly smoky wings, thicker abdomen, very narrow foliations, markings are less distinctive.
  • S2 has a "sickle" shaped marking pointing towards the thorax. Diagnostic
Compared with other species:
Distribution and habitaT: in KZN, MP, LP and GP (Recorded in the WCP 
Found mostly at rivers, but also streams, shaded by gallery forest, but sometimes in open landscapes.
Often with rocks and streams with a sandy gravel open areas, near faster sections.
From 0 to 1400 m above sea level, but mostly between 200 and 1100.

  • 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:

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species   (Least Concern)
Odonata Atlas of Africa VMU Number 665780
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa


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