Denim Dropwing.     Trithemis donaldsoni    Denimvalvlerkie

100 505 Trithemis donaldsoni Denim Dropwing Male
Trithemis donaldsoni Denim Dropwing Male Tzaneen Nov 2016
T100-1095_ rithemis donaldsoni Denim Dropwing Male
Family Libellulidae Leach, 1815
Short description:

Denim Dropwing, Trithemis donaldsoni, Denimvalvlerkie is small sized light blue with contrasting dark brown eyes.

More images:
 100 506 Trithemis donaldsoni Denim Dropwing Male Nwanedi LP RSA Dec 2018r 3Image Album

101 615 Trithemis donaldsoni Denim Dropwing Male Nwanedi LP RSA Aug 2016Male









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Key identification features:


  • Face light brown with dark brown eyes with grey spots below.
  • Thorax (short and stubby) and abdomen are an even pale blue to pruinescent light grey.
  • Wings are clear with veins close to thorax showing light blue. Wings as long as abdomen. 10½-12½ Ax in forewing, only rarely 13½ 
  • Pterostigmas are reddish-brown between black veins, but very pale yellowish-brown on underside, especially in forewing.


  • Seldom seen. Lives far from water, only returning to the water to mate where it is very briefly seen
  • Eyes are brown
  • Thorax has distinct stripes
  • Abdomen stripes and markings similar to young male
Compared with other species:
Distribution and habitat:

Trithemis donaldsoni Denim Dropwing Distribution Map May 2020Found in the warm eastern and northern side of South Africa. 
Rivers in open landscapes, shallow, rocky, strong flowing savanna rivers. 
Usually with rocks.
Found from an altitude of 0 to 1700 m above sea level, but mostly between 200 and 1600.

  • Territorial males perch mostly on stones or rocks either near the side or midstream.
  • Strong flyer, frequently darting off, returning to original perch.
Further reading:

Odonata Atlas of Africa VMU Number 668800

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
African Dragonflies & Damselflies Online
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa


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