Common Hooktail, Paragomphus genei, Gewone Hakiestert

Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Male

100 3691 Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Male Fresh Marlothpark MP RSA Apr 2023r 1

Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Female

Short Description:

Common Hooktail, Paragomphus genei, Gewone Hakiestert, is medium-sized, with green head and thorax, and yellow and dark brown abdomen with reddish brown club, that frequents wet, gravel
beaches of savanna rivers.

Previously in South African literature called Green Hooktail. Worldwide it is called Green Hooktail.

Family Gomphidae     (Rambur, 1842)

More Images:

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Key identification features:

Male 100 1884 Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Male Bloemhof NWP RSA Apr 2015r 1

  • Face is mostly light green. Labrum, anteclypeus, postclypeus and entire frons is bright green with some brown smudging. Head brown with spots above, green at back.  100 2493 Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Male Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2019r 16
  • Eyes are dark greenish brown. 100 2493 Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Male Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2019r 16
  • Thorax is bright green with two smudgy dark brown stripes. Dorsal thorax makings are green with well smudged greenish brown stripes (indistinct). Dorsal thorax pattern faded brown markings 100 947 Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Male Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2019r 5 The thorax  dark brownish markings are sharp, clearly delimiting pale postdorsal and antehumeral stripes.100 952 Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Male Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2019r 9
  • Wings clear to slightly greenish smoky. Pterostigmas black with central light brow/green stripes, 3 mm long.100 2499 Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Male Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2019r 32
  • Abdomen segments 1 - 3 is green, blackish brown and a little yellow. S 2 has may have a greenish "U" shaped pattern in lateral view. This may very with age and must be used with caution as identification aid. 100 947 Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Male Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2019r 5. S 1 - 7 100 2494 Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Male Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2019r 17 with yellow and blackish brown partial rings. First ¾ of segment 7 is bright yellow, hind ¼ dark brown. S 8 - 10 is dark brown with some faint yellow blotches, giving a reddish appearance. Foliations on S 8 large relative to  s 9, 100 2494 Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Male Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2019r 17  light brown with dark edges.  S 9 longer than s10. In dorsal view s 8 - 9 have light brown patterns that may darken with age. S 10 in dorsal view has two (2) (almost blended into  one (1) small yellow dots either side of the dorsal carina 100 673 Common Hooktail222S7 S10 Description 
  • Superior appendages conspicuously yellowish, fairly long, curved. Superior twice as long as inferior. Inferior appendages curved upwards, blackish. 100 2495 Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Male Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2019r 18

Female  101 524A Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Female Tshipise LP RSA March 2015

  • Similar to male but the body markings is less distinctive
  • May have blue in the lower eye. 100 2591 Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Female Close up Bang Neck KZN RSA Mch 2019r 16
  • Dorsal thorax pattern is green with indistinct faded brown stripes (contrary to male markings). 100 1877 Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Female Close up Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2018r 9
  • Wings Smokey. Pterostigmas black with central light brow/green stripes, 3 mm long  100 2595 Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Female Close up Bang Neck KZN RSA Mch 2019r 25
  • Abdomen is stout. S 2 has narrow anchor shape (crescent shaped) pattern in lateral view. 100 2588 Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Female Close up Bang Neck KZN RSA Mch 2019r 7 This is Diagnostic for this species female. S 7 hind opproximate 1/3 dark brown, front  yellow. 100 2593 Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Female Close up Bang Neck KZN RSA Mch 2019r 22  Foliations virtually absent. 100 2592 Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Female Close up Bang Neck KZN RSA Mch 2019r 18  Upper claspers thin, yellow becoming dark towards the tip.100 2593 Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Female Close up Bang Neck KZN RSA Mch 2019r 22

 Habitat:

  • Moist, gravel or sandy shores of savanna rivers, occasionally on the exposed shores of pools and dams, and temporary waters. One of the few Gomphidae that is able to complete larval development in less than a year (about two months). It is assumed to be multivoltine (more than one broods per year). The species often has enormous larval populations of up to 100 individuals per square meter in perennial sections of ephemeral rivers. But also large populations e.g., in lower Orange and lower Kunene River.
Behaviour:
  • Perches with its abdomen raised at a slight angle at the water’s edge, darts off rapidly but returns again to the shore.
Compared with other species:
Comparison Chart
Differences

Males

  • Cerci (claspers) on Corkscrew Hooktail,Paragomphus elpidius  107 592 Paragomphus elpidius Corkscrew Hooktail Male Rundu Namibia Jan 2020r 1  thicker (less slender), apex blunt, without or with one tooth, without distinct ventral ridge. Epiproct (lower appendage) is about 1/3 as long as cerci and not curving upwards. Tips of Cerci (upper claspers) tend to curve in towards S 10.
  • Cerci on Common Hooktail, P. genei have dark tips. 100 673 Common Hooktail222S7 S10 Description  Thorax has dark brownish markings that is sharp.  100 947 Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Male Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2019r 5  clearly delimiting pale postdorsal and antehumeral stripes100 952 Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Male Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2019r 9   Rear thorax strip in Corkscrew Hooktail,Paragomphus elpidius  forms a "Y" shape fork towards the front thorax stripe.
  • Brownish postdorsal and antihumeral stripes on P. genei tend to be undefined almost smudged.  100 952 Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Male Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2019r 9
  • S 7 on Corcscrew Hooktail, P. elpidius is yellow in first half and brown in second. On P. genei s 7 is bright yellow, first 2/3, ending in well-defined pattern with dark brown hind 1/3. 100 673 Common Hooktail222S7 S10 Description Brown lateral stripe  (diagnostic). 100 1480 Paragomphus cognatus Rock Hooktail Male Wilgerivier MP RSA Nov 2017r 39  Segment 7 is bright yellow, first 1/2, ending in well-defined pattern with dark brown hind half.
  • P. genei has small club (s 8 large with s 9 small). 100 2495 Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Male Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2019r 18 Rock Hooktail Paragomphus cognatus  100 610 Paragomphus cognatus Rock Hooktail Haenertsburg Dec 2015 r 4 of 7  small yellow with dark lower edge. Corkscrew Hooktail, P. elpidius    107 592 Paragomphus elpidius Corkscrew Hooktail Male Rundu Namibia Jan 2020r 1   has very large club and foliages.  
  • P. genei S 10 has distinctive yellow spot around the dorsal carina.100 673 Common Hooktail222S7 S10 Description

Females

  • In lateral view dorsal thorax pattern of Common Hooktail, P genei has faded brown stripes  100 1877 Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Female Close up Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2018r 9 compared with the well-defined stripes of Corcscrew Hooktail P. elpidius.
  • S 2 on P. genei has a clear narrow anchor shape marking. 100 2588 Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Female Close up Bang Neck KZN RSA Mch 2019r 7  P. elpidius. a "C "pattern with the inside of the "C" brown touching s 1. Rock Hookrail, P. cognatis has a square yellow/green  pattern with a  brown square inside pattern that ma open to s 3.
  • S 10 on P. elpidius same lengths as s 9 but much shorter on P. genei. 100 673 Common Hooktail222S7 S10 Description
  • P..genei has small club (s 7  large with s 8 almost non-existent)
 Learn more about other species - Hooktails
Distribution:

Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Distribution Map July 2020Distribution Map
South Africa

Physical Map South Africa Physical Map
South Africa

Political Map South Africa Political Map
South Africa

Paragomphus genei Common Hooktail Africa Distribution Map July 2021Distribution MapAfrica

Africa Physical MapPhysical Map
Africa 

Political Map AfricaPolitical Map
Africa

South Africa:

  • Recorded from the Western Cape and the Eastern Cape, but abundant records from KZN, MP, GP and LP 

Africa:

  • Algeria; Angola; Benin; Botswana; Burkina Faso; Côte d'Ivoire; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Chad; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Ethiopia; Ghana; Kenya; Liberia; Malawi; Mali; Morocco; Mozambique; Namibia; Nigeria; Republic of South Africa; Sierra Leone; Socotra (Yemen); Somalia; Sudan; Tanzania; Togo; Tunisia; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Further reading:

Websites

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