Corkscrew Hooktail     Paragomphus elpidius    Slingerhakiestert

Paragomphus elpidius Corkscrew Hooktail

109 505 Corcksrew 5

100 1089 Paragomphus elipidius Corckscrew Hooktail Fermale Ndumu Mch 2017r 5

Short description:

Corkscrew Hooktail, Paragomphus elpidius, Slingerhakiestert is medium sized, greenish, yellowish and brown, with a reddish brown to dark brown club.

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100 1087 Paragomphus elipidius Corckscrew Hooktail Fermale Ndumu Mch 2017r 3Image Gallery










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Key identification features:


  • Eyes are pale greyish blue. Labrum is pale yellow, at most vaguely darkened at base with indistinct brownish basal band.
  • Thorax is yellow to green with more prominent brown to black markings that on the metastigma ends just dorsal of it, The brown stripe forms a narrow "V"  Dorsal thorax marking bright and well defined.
  • Pterostigmas are brown, not contrasting with black veins
  • Abdomen is black with yellow partial rings. S8-9 has broad foliations. S 9 = 10 in length. Upper claspers (cerci) slender, apex is blunt, without or with one tooth. Without distinct ventral ridge; Lower clasper (epiproct) about 1/3 as long as upper clasper (cerci). 


  • Female similar, slightly smoky wings, thicker abdomen, very narrow foliations, markings are less distinctive.
  • S2 has a "sickle" shaped marking pointing towards the thorax. Diagnostic
Compared with other species:
Distribution and habitat:

Paragomphus cognatus Rock Hooktail Distribution Map May 2020Found in KZN, MP, LP and GP (Recorded in the WCP 
Found mostly at rivers, but also streams, shaded by gallery forest, but sometimes in open landscapes.
Often with rocks and streams with a sandy gravel open areas, near faster sections.
From 0 to 1400 m above sea level, but mostly between 200 and 1100.

  • Alert as it perches conspicuously on a stick on reed at a pool or river margin, often darting out to defend its territory.
  • Frequently seen on hot days with its abdomen in the upright obelisk position and its wings forward
Further reading:

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species   (Least Concern)
Odonata Atlas of Africa VMU Number 665780
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa


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