Family Libellulidae     (Leach, 1815)

Distribution Worldwide
  • Endemic to Africa and Arabia

Africa and Southern Africa

  • 2 species with the common name of Peppertail (Abdominal segments 7- 10 mostly red)
  • 3 Species with the common name Blacktail (Abdominal segments 7- 10 mostly black)
General identification features
  • The status of.most of the species and groups of species in this genus is unresolved or under review. Further genetic material required.  More information at African Dragonflies & Damselflies Online 
  • Mostly yellow and black when young (females and young males) but pruinose to grey with red or black with maturity
  • Abdomen segments 9 - 10 never pruinose  and segments 7 - 8 rarely but remains black or red.
  • Eyes of the black tipped species become dark brown dorsally  The eyes of the red tipped species are bluish.The eyes of skimmers are Bluish.
Habitat and behaviour
  • Widespread in most open habitats, being most common at standing water, open streams and river, or localised at herbaceous marshes and lakes
  • Habits and appearance similar to Skimmers (Ortherum). For a more accurate description of the habitat refer to African Dragonflies & Damselflies Online 
  • Where possible only images of males are shown
  • To view images of females please follow the menu items to the main display pages
A selection of images

Nesciothemis fitzgeraldi, Lesser peppertailLesser Peppertail
Nesciothemis fitzgeraldi

Nesciothemis nigeriensis Greater Peppertail MaleGreater Peppertail
Nesciothemis nigeriensis,