Red Basker, Urothemis assignata, Rooisonvangertjie

 Male
Mating Pair
100 946 Red Basker Female
Short description:

Red Basker, Urothemis assignata, Rooisonvangertjie is medium sized, stout, with a bright red thorax and abdomen. It has black markings on the abdomen and large dark red splashes on the hind wing.

Family Libellulidae Leach, 1815
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100 670 Urothemis assignata Red Basker Male Kozibay KZN RSA MCH 2018 Image
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100 957  Male Close Up KZN RSA Mch 2017r 4Male
Close-up

Urothemis assignata Red Basker Female Close_upFemale
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Key identification features:

Male: 100 670 Urothemis assignata Red Basker Male Kozibay KZN RSA MCH 2018r 2

  • Face, including top of frons and top of head, deep red.Eyes are deep red above and light grey and blackish mottled below.  100 959 Urothemis assignata Red Basker Male Close Up KZN RSA Mch 2017r 6
  • Thorax deep red with small darker patches. 100 958 Urothemis assignata Red Basker Male Close Up KZN RSA Mch 2017r 2
  • Hind wings have dark red, angular, basal flares, with fine, amber halo. Narrow band in the front section of the hind wing with a clear line between the band and the flare.Fore wing has very small patches of amber near the bases. Pterostigmas yellow brown with fine black anterior border, 4 mm. 100 964 Urothemis assignata Red Basker Male Close Up KZN RSA Mch 2017r 14
  • Black ladder-like stripe on top of stout abdomen.  This pattern visibly diminish with age. Broadening from segment 5 to the widest on s 9. Appendages of moderate length, red  100 963 Urothemis assignata Red Basker Male Close Up KZN RSA Mch 2017r 13

Female: 100 946 Urothemis assignata Red Basker Female Ndumu Mch 2017r 7

  • Stout build like male. 100 2481 Urothemis assignata Red Basker Female Close up Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2019r 1
  • Thorax greyish brown.100 2483 Urothemis assignata Red Basker Female Close up Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2019r 5
  • Abdomen light reddish brown100 2488 Urothemis assignata Red Basker Female Close up Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2019r 20
  • Wing patches similar to male but not as extensive 100 2491 Urothemis assignata Red Basker Female Close up Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2019r 26
Habitat:
  • Frequents standing waters, but possibly also lakes, rivers and flowing channels in marshes, in open landscapes, open areas in forest or shaded by gallery forest. Usually with emergent vegetation and often coarse detritus and a soft muddy bottom.
  • From 0 to 1700 m above sea level, but mostly at lower elevations.
Behaviour:
  • Strong flight but soon returns to often the same perch.
  • Perches on reed tips at water’s edge.
Compared with other species:
  • Similar to the Blue Basker, U. edwardsii, but different in colour. 100 666 Urothemis edwardsii Blue Basker Marlothpark April 2015 r 5
  • Can be mistaken for the Gliders (Keyhole and Ferruginous), Tramea basilaris 100 1669 Tramea basilaris Keyhole Glider Male Loskopdam MP RSA Nov 2017r 12 and Tramea limbata.100 1142 Trame limbata Ferruginous Glider Hluhluwe KZN RSA Mch 2017r 2 The Red Basker has bigger patches than the Ferruginous Glider and the Keyhole Glider has keyhole shaped patches.
  • There are several red coloured species that needs close inspection to identify correctly.
    • Aethriamanta rezia, Pygmy Basker: 118 500 1Aethriamanta rezia Enseleni 2 1  Very small. Eyes brown with red cap on top, mottled grey below. Thorax with black shoulder stripe. Legs black. Wings all with small dark brown flares at the base, hind wings with additional small patch just behind flares, flares are surrounded by amber halo. 6 Ax veins. Pterostigmas reddish brown 2mm. Abdomen wide, bright red with regular black ladder running along entire top. Segment 1 blackish. Superior appendages red.
    • Urothemis assignata, Red Basker:  100 670 Urothemis assignata Red Basker Male Kozibay KZN RSA MCH 2018r 2 Stout, bright red. Eyes deep red above, mottled dark and light grey below. Leggs light red. Hindwings have large dark red angular basal patches with amber hallow. Fore wing has small traces of amber at the base. Wing veins red. Pterostigma yellow brown 4mm. Last Ax vein complete. Abdomen segments 5 -9 have black above with median ladder-like stripe of uneven width, widest on s 8 - 9. Appendages of moderate length, red.
    • Macrodiplax cora. Coastal Pennant: 118 503 Macrodiplax cora Coastal Penant Male Kosi Bay KZN Apr 2016r 1  Wings clear, except for small amber patch at base of hind wings. Abdomen bright red with along top strongly contrasting black hour glass shaped stripe of varying width, broken at each segment joint.
    • Tramea basilaris, Keyhole Glider, 100 1666 Tramea basilaris Keyhole Glider Male Loskopdam MP RSA Nov 2017r 1 Hind wing patches distinctive keyhole shaped. Thorax dull orange above dark brownish grey with dark brown areas along the side. Abdomen segment 8 triangular shaped mark, S 9 -10 black above. Superior appendages long, dark brown with light base.
    • Tramea limbata, Ferrugginous Glider,  100 1142 Trame limbata Ferruginous Glider Hluhluwe KZN RSA Mch 2017r 2 Hind wing patches distinctive elongated, narrow shaped dark panels close to basel edge of the wing that may appear black in flight.  long brown claspers
    • Tholymis tillarga, Twister. 100 626 Tholymis tillarga Twister Male Tshipise LP RSA MCH 2016r 4  Hind wings with dark brown patch just inside nodus in front half, with white patch outside of it and diffuse amber area inside it. Fore wings with diffuse amber area at bases of wings. Abdomen tapered, light red. Appendages long, red, black at tips.

Distribution:

Urothemis assignata Red Basker Map 05 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

South Africa: 

  •  Widespread and common in the eastern coastal regions and the warm northern parts of South Africa.

Africa: 

  •  Angola; Benin; Botswana; Burkina Faso; Côte d'Ivoire; Cameroon; Congo-Brazzaville; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Ethiopia; Gabon; Gambia; Ghana; Guinee-Bissau; Kenya; Liberia; Malawi; Mali; Mozambique; Namibia; Niger; Nigeria; Republic of Guinea; Republic of South Africa; Rwanda; Senegal; Sierra Leone; Somalia; South Sudan; Tanzania; Togo; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe 
Further reading and information:

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