Family Libellulidae Leach, 1815
Distribution in Africa and surrounding Islands
  • Genus includes at least twelve Afrotropical species
  • 2 species in Southern Africa
General identification features
  • Zygonyx (Cascaders) males are (very) large (hindwing 37-61 mm) and diverse in appearance, although generally dark with conspicuous markings
  • Z. torridus (Ringed Cascader) has 6-7 buff abdominal rings with yellow dot like markings in lateral view
  • Z. natalensis (Blue Cascader) is thickly grey pruinose on thorax and abdominal segments 7-9
  • 8½-19½ Ax in Forewing (‘½’ indicates often incomplete distal Ax)
Habitat and behaviour:
  • Favouring fast-flowing water
  • Rarely rest by the waterside, and perch in a hanging position.
  • Often found hovering above open rapids and waterfalls.(Z. natalensis and Z. torridus)
  • Z. torridus is the only one to commonly occur in dry areas and on temporary waters but also seen over slow flowing pools.

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Adapted from Dijkstra & Clausnitzer 2014