Russet Dropwing Trithemis pluvialis Rosbruinvalvlerkie
Family Libellulidae Leach, 1815
Medium sized, bright orange tending to bright reddish, with small rounded, orange splashes on hindwing.
Click on all images to enlarge or view more
- Guide to Dropwings - General (Trithemis)
- Guide to Dropwings - Blue
- Guide to Dropwings - Red/Orange/Brown
Key identification features:
- Face is light orange with the frons and vertex bright metallic golden purple. Labrum at least partly pale
- Wings clear but hindwings have a well-defined semi-circular orange splash. Some basal veins yellow to red. Pterostigmas deep brownish black with lighter hind margins, especially on underside,
- Abdomen bright orange to bright reddish orange, never pruinose. Broad, s 4 under 3x as long as wide (best seen in ventral view). S 8-9 largely pale with thick black line over dorsal carina and at most black line along lateral carinae; Lateral carinae of s 5-7 usually unmarked. Appendages orange except for tips.
- Stouter than male,
- Thorax mottled yellowish, orange and dark brown.
- Hindwings with indistinct orange splash, which is not as extensive as in male.
- Pterostigmas with more distinct pale margin.
Compared with other species:
- Similar to T. arteriosa but the black on the abdomen sides only to s 7. Abdomen is orangey red and thorax and eyes brownish red. Wing vanes are less accentuated red.
- T.werneri has different black markings on abdomen to T arteriosa , T. pluvialis and T. annulata . Crocothemis Sanguinolenta and C. erythraea both have a thin black dorsal abdominal line.
- Pterostigmas are deep brownish black, with lighter hind margin, especially on underside.
Distribution and habitat:
Limpopo, Mpumalanga Kwazulu-Natal with few records from Eastern Cape and Western Cape.
The link between the western Cape and north eastern population appears to be closing as more records becomes available.
Prefers streams, swift, rocky, reedlined, bushy savanna rivers with riffles. (A riffle is a shallow section of a stream or river
with rapid current and a surface broken by gravel, rubble or boulders.) Usually with emergent vegetation.
From 0 to 2600 m above sea level, but mostly between 700 and 1700.
- Conspicuous as it perches on reeds and branches overhanging margins of riffles.