Eastern Scissortail    Microgomphus nyassicus    Oostelike Knipstertjie

109 509 Swadini LP RSA May 2019r 9

109 508 Eastern Scissortail Eastern Scissortail Swadini LP RSA May 2019r 1

109 512 Eastern Scissortail Eastern Scissortail Swadini LP RSA May 2019r 2

Short Description:

Eastern Scissortail, Microgomphus nyassicus, Oostelike Knipstertjie is small yellow, brown and black with yellow thorax and distinctive leave like dorsal thorax pattern and scissor like appendages 

Family Gomphidae Rambur, 1842

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109 510  Swadini LP RSA May 2019r 5Image Gallery

109 513 Eastern Scissortail Eastern Scissortail Swadini LP RSA May 2019r 7Male









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Key Identification Features:


  • Head light green and cream. Frons light green becoming creamy at the antifrons. Postclypeus black with anticlypeus green. Labrum greenish cream
  • Eyes greenish blue above greyish blue below
  • Thorax creamy yellow with a narrow black interpleural line Post dorsal line yellow leaf-like narrowing towards the hind magin of the dorsal carina, broad yellow lines behind the neck to form a triangle with the post dorsal markings
  • Abdomen black on top with yellow rings on the front margins of each segment The black marks are small (about 50%) on s 3-4 becoming larger to almost the full segment on s5-5 reducing on s 7 becoming dark on s 8 S8-9 either without or both with foliations. S10 with smooth dorsum, at most humped, usually not longer than high, if so it has dorsal crest or is constricted at base. Claspers distinct scissor-like and diagnostic.


  • Similar to male but with broader abdomen. Claspers distinct 

Streams shaded by forest, but possibly also in open areas. Probably often with coarse detritus. Inferred to occur from 100 to 1800 m above sea level.
Recently rediscovered along the Northern Drakensberg  escarpment with excuva found along the northern rivers of the MP lowveld 
Excuva found near Baberton Southern Mpumalanga.

  •  Perch horizontally on rock or reeds in or close to steams Prefers areas where the stream carved an overhang of grass and reeds  
Compared with other Species:
  • An individuals species with very distinct feature making this species easy ti identify
Distibution Map May 2020










South Africa:

  • Currently found at one site in Lp with excuve found in the Kruger Park and southern MP


  •  Democratic Republic of the Congo; Kenya; Mozambique; Republic of South Africa; Tanzania; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe;
Further Information

Odonata atlas of Africa VMU Number 665130

A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa
The IUCN Red List Of threatened Species



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