Sooty Darter, Trithetrum congoense

100 621 Trithetrum congoense Sooty Darter K D DijkstraMale © K D Dijkstra

107 620 Trithetrum congoense Nicolas Meziere Gabon1Male © Nicolas Meziere


Short Description:

Sooty Darter, Trithetrum congoense,   medium-sized (hindwing 23-29 mm) and diagnostically uniform, unmarked, blackish, sometimes lightly pruinose

Family Libellulidae. Leach, 1815

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Key identification features:


  • Face reddish brown, Frons without band
  • Eyes d green to black
  • Thorax uniformly blackish, sometimes lightly pruinose,  unmarked 
  • Wings venation blackish. Forward discoidal field 5-8 cells wide on wing border. Pterostigmas, dark with creamy interior
  • Abdomen blackish with no markings. Secondary genitalia.Lobe of hamule elongate, not angled anteriorly, its tip extending beyond genital lobe.


  • currently no information
  • Mostly rivers, but also streams, standing waters and possibly flowing channels in marshes, in open areas in forest. Often with blackwater, usually with emergent vegetation.
  • From 200 to 500 m above sea level.
Compared to other species:
  • Body parts uniform.:Thorax unmarked; frons without band. S1-10 unmarked;
  • T. congoense especially recalling Trithemis grouti, but have a different posture, sitting with abdomen held low and wings flat or slightly raised, often on leaves.
  • May be mistaken for Trithemis , Dropwings
  • May look close to very mature, Little Percher, Diplacodes deminuta, Black Percher, Diplacodes lefebvrii, Dwarf Percher, Diplacodes pumila
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  • Congo-Brazzaville; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Gabon
Further reading:


[Adapted from Dijkstra & Clausnitzer 2014]