Elegant Dropwing, Trithemis werneri Siervalvlerkie
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
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- Guide to Dropwings - General (Trithemis)
- Guide to Dropwings - Blue
- Guide to Dropwings - Red/Orange/Brown
Key identification features:
- Face is all light orange. Labrum with central dark brown triangle.
- Eyes with reddish brown cap, mostly greyish brown with dark spots.
- 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.
- 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.
- Legs Black with yellow stripes
- Light-yellow brown with less pronounced abdominal markings than the male.
- 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.
- Light amber patches on hind wing near the thorax and in front and behind nodus. Small light orange brown patch near the wing base.
- Abdomen with broad dark brown/black line on segment sides with lateral carina. Black/brown ring marks either side of the segment splits Segment 8-9 has dark triangular mark with the base of triangle at hind margin Cercus black pointing slightly outwards.
Compared with other species:
- Best identified by the heavily striped abdomen.
- Trithemis annulata females 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:
Localised 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.
- 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.
Websites of interest
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species Least Concern
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa