Eastern Scissortail, Microgomphus nyassicus, Oostelike Knipstertjie

109 509 Swadini LP RSA May 2019r 9Male

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 


The genus Microgomphus is rather elusive. Very few records exist. The genera may be reclassified in the near future

Family Gomphidae Rambur, 1842

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Key Identification Features:


  • Size: Lenght 42mm (1♀,♂): wing front 27mm, Hind 25mm Pterostigmas frontwing 3mm hindwing 3.2mm
  • 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 margin of the dorsal carina, broad yellow lines behind the neck to form a triangle with the post dorsal markings. A dictinct curved "X" like marking visible on the dorsal thorax.
  • 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.


  • Size: Lenght 42mm (1♀,) wing front 27mm. hind 25mm Pterostigmas front wing 3mm hind wing
  • Similar to male but with broader abdomen. Claspers white/creamy yellow
  • 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.
  •  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
Learn more about other Clubtails (Family Gomphidae)Distribution:


Distibution Map May 2020South African
Distribution Map

South Africa Physical MapPhysical Map
South Africa

Political Map South africa Political Map
South Africa

Microgomphus nyassicus Eastern Scissortail Distribution Map Mch 2021Africa
Distribution Map

Arica Physical MapPhysical Map

Political Map AfricaPolitical Map



South Africa:

  • Recently rediscovered along the northern Drakensberg escarpmenta on Blyde river at Swadini area. Excuva found along the northern rivers of the MP lowveld and near Baberton Southern Mpumalanga. First photograped in May 2019 In May 2021 it was found in the same area with reasonable regularity. This may indicate a stable population


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



  • The name-bearing types of Odonata held in the Natural History Museum of Zimbabwe, with systematic notes on Afrotropical taxa. Part 1: introduction and Anisoptera