Russet Dropwing      Trithemis pluvialis      Rosbruinvalvlerkie

100 630 Trithemis pluvialis Russet Dropwing Nwanedi LP RSA Dec 2015 r 6
Trithemis pluvialis Russet Dropwing Female
117 568 Trithemis pluvialis Russet Dropwing

Family Libellulidae Leach, 1815

Short description:

Medium sized, bright orange tending to bright reddish, with small rounded, orange splashes on hindwing.

More Images:

100 627 Trithemis pluvialis Russet Dropwing Nwanedi LP RSA Dec 2015 r 1Image Album

100 1724 Trithemis pluvialis Russet Dropwing Male Marken LP RSA JDec 2017r 1Male

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Guides:
Key identification features:

Male: 100 1724 Trithemis pluvialis Russet Dropwing Male Marken LP RSA JDec 2017r 1

  • Face is light orange with the frons and vertex bright metallic golden purple.100 1730 Trithemis pluvialis Russet Dropwing Male Marken LP RSA JDec 2017r 16  100 1725 Trithemis pluvialis Russet Dropwing Male Marken LP RSA JDec 2017r 4 Labrum at least partly pale
  • Wings clear but hindwings have a well-defined semi-circular orange splash. 100 1724 Trithemis pluvialis Russet Dropwing Male Marken LP RSA JDec 2017r 1 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.100 1139 Trithemis pluvialis Russet Dropwing Male Marken LP RSA JDec 2017r 20  100 1140 Trithemis pluvialis Russet Dropwing Male Marken LP RSA JDec 2017r 21

Female: 

  • 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  100 858 Trithemis arteriosa Red vained Dropwing Male Haenertsburg LP RSA Dec 2015r 1  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 100 2148 Trithemis wernerii Elegant Dropwing Male Close up Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2018r 5   100 2153 Trithemis wernerii Elegant Dropwing Male Close up Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2018r 16  has different black markings on abdomen to T arteriosa 100 858 Trithemis arteriosa Red vained Dropwing Male Haenertsburg LP RSA Dec 2015r 1 , T. pluvialis 100 1139 Trithemis pluvialis Russet Dropwing Male Marken LP RSA JDec 2017r 20  and T. annulata 101 609 Trithemis annulata Violet Dropwing Male Tshipise LP RSA Oct 2016  . Crocothemis Sanguinolenta 100 1975 Crocothemis sanguinolenta Little Scarlet Mooinooi NWP RSA Nov 2016r 14  and C. erythraea 100 1007 Crocothemis erythraea Broad Scarlet Male Close UP RNR GP RSA June 2018r 12 both have a thin black dorsal abdominal line.
  • Pterostigmas are deep brownish black, with lighter hind margin, especially on underside.
Distribution and habitat:

Trithemis pluvialis Russet Dropwing Distribution map May 2020Limpopo, 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.

Behaviour:
  • Conspicuous as it perches on reeds and branches overhanging margins of riffles.
Further reading:

Websites
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Least Concern

 
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