Elegant Dropwing, Trithemis werneri     Siervalvlerkie

Valvlerk
 Male
 Female
Short description:

Elegant Dropwing, Trithemis werneri Siervalvlerkie is medium sized, slender and all orange-brown or brownish red, with a slender abdomen that is heavily marked at the joints.

Family Libellulidae Leach, 1815
More Images:

100 2147 Male Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2018r 4Image Album

100 2148  Close up Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2018r 5Male

100 725   Female Close up Ndumu Mch 2018r 1Female

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Guides:
Key identification features:

Male: 100 2148 Trithemis wernerii Elegant Dropwing Male Close up Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2018r 5

  • Face is all light orange. Labrum with central dark brown triangle.  100 2151 Trithemis wernerii Elegant Dropwing Male Close up Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2018r 15  100 2150 Trithemis wernerii Elegant Dropwing Male Close up Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2018r 13  
  • Eyes with reddish brown cap, mostly greyish brown with dark spots.  100 2151 Trithemis wernerii Elegant Dropwing Male Close up Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2018r 15  
  • Thorax is dull orange with reddish brown shoulder stripes and narrow blackish connected side stripes. Thin dorsal stripe with small brownish arrow shaped marks near the rear of the thorax. 100 2149 Trithemis wernerii Elegant Dropwing Male Close up Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2018r 7  100 2150 Trithemis wernerii Elegant Dropwing Male Close up Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2018r 13 
  • Wings clear with black veins, main veins light brown on underside, fairly large roundish transparent orange patch present at base of hindwings. 
  • Abdomen very slender, orange red and heavily marked at joints (less pronounced on young males), especially side view of segments 5 to 10, giving it a striped appearance. S4 about 4x as long as wide (best seen in ventral view).Segment 9 nearly all black with small oval orange red patch. Segment 10 is black.100 2155 Trithemis wernerii Elegant Dropwing Male Close up Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2018r 22  100 2154 Trithemis wernerii Elegant Dropwing Male Close up Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2018r 18
  • Legs Black with yellow stripes

Females: 100 725 Trithemis wernerii Elegant Dropwing Female Close up Ndumu Mch 2018r 1

  • Light-yellow brown with less pronounced abdominal markings than the male.  100 725 Trithemis wernerii Elegant Dropwing Female Close up Ndumu Mch 2018r 1
  • Thorax with tree dark brown lines NOT connected at the wing margin (Not forming an "M" pattern) The rearmost line ending in a "Y" split at the wing margin Humeral stripe broad and dark brow.  100 727 Trithemis wernerii Elegant Dropwing Female Close up Ndumu Mch 2018r 5  100 726 Trithemis wernerii Elegant Dropwing Female Close up Ndumu Mch 2018r 2
  • Light amber patches on hind wing near the thorax and in front and behind nodus.  Small light orange brown patch near the wing base. 100 725 Trithemis wernerii Elegant Dropwing Female Close up Ndumu Mch 2018r 1
  • Abdomen with broad dark brown/black line on segment sides with lateral carina.100 731 Trithemis wernerii Elegant Dropwing Female Close up Ndumu Mch 2018r 13 Black/brown ring marks either side of the segment splits100 733 Trithemis wernerii Elegant Dropwing Female Close up Ndumu Mch 2018r 15 Segment 8-9 has dark triangular mark with the base of triangle at hind margin 100 736 Trithemis wernerii Elegant Dropwing Female Close up Ndumu Mch 2018r 17 Cercus black pointing slightly outwards. 
Compared with other species:
  • Best identified by the heavily striped abdomen.
  • Trithemis annulata females 100 2117 Trithemis annulata Violet Dropwing Female Close up Cape Vidal KZN Apr 2016r 25 are similar but with less heavy markings along the joints with S 10 not completely black as in T. werneri. Thorax with clear "M" stripes zigzag  marks
  • Does not have the depth of redness of the common Crocothemis and Trithemis  species.
Distribution and habitat:

Trithemis werneri Elegant Dropwing Distribution Map May 2020Localised in the Mpumalanga lowveld area, Swaziland and northern KZN 
Found along wide, swift, open rocky and reedy savanna rivers with an abundance of Phragmites reeds
and where there are large trees lining the upper banks
From 0 to 1000 m above sea level, but possibly up to 1300.

Behaviour:
  • It perches on the tips of twigs on the tops of bushes or below the high tree canopy, facing the river.
  • Often found some distance away from the water.
  • Female perches in the same habitat.
Further reading:

Websites of interest
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species Least Concern
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa

 
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