Halfshade Dropwing, Trithemis aconita, Skaduvalvlerkie

100 635  Male Nwanedi LP RSA Dec 2015r 3Male

100 1382 Male Ezemvelo GP RSA Sept 2017r 1Male

102 543 2016 12 24 Sabiepark Halfshade wyfie 13Female

Short description:

Halfshade Dropwing, Trithemis aconita, Skaduvalvlerkie is small sized, slender and dark blueish black, with yellowish brown dashes on the abdomen.

Family Libellulidae Leach, 1815

Previously known as Monkshood Dropwing 

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Guides:
Key identification features:

Male:

  • Face contrasting dull yellow, black and brown.100 1388 Trithemis aconita Halfshade dropwing Nwanedi LP RSA Dec 2016r 5 Labium light yellow with central dark brown stripe. Labrum black. Anteclypeus dull yellow with dark brown stripe running across it. Postclypeus and front of frons dull yellow. Top of frons and top of head dimpled, shiny, metallic purplish black. Short stripe runs down side of frons against eyes.100 1387 Trithemis aconita Halfshade dropwing Nwanedi LP RSA Dec 2016r 4
  • Eyes dark bluish black.100 1388 Trithemis aconita Halfshade dropwing Nwanedi LP RSA Dec 2016r 5
  • Thorax is pruinescent dark blue with dark banding and mottling showing through.
  • Wings slightly smoky with a small split dark brown splash at base of hindwing. (small brown patch, normally excluding triangle but extending onto anal field). Pterostigmas orange brown between dark brown veins, 3 mm long. Ax veins  in forewing 9½-12½ rarely up to 14½
  • Abdomen slender brownish black with yellowish dashes on top of the abdomen. Segments 1 to 3 with indistinct yellow dashes. Segments 4 to 8 with pairs of narrow yellow dashes on each  segment. Segments 9 and 10 black.

Female 100 3042 Trithemis aconita Halfshade dropwing Female Close up Songimvelo MP RSA Febr 2019r 2

  • Similar to male, stouter, less pruinescence on thorax so brown mottling and streaking more clearly visible.100 3043 Trithemis aconita Halfshade dropwing Female Close up Songimvelo MP RSA Febr 2019r 5
  • Abdomen black with yellow dashes.100 3047 Trithemis aconita Halfshade dropwing Female Close up Songimvelo MP RSA Febr 2019r 14
  • Hindwing has small, basal, amber patch 100 3049 Trithemis aconita Halfshade dropwing Female Close up Songimvelo MP RSA Febr 2019r 17
Habitat:
  • Prefers standing waters, rivers and streams shaded by gallery forest, but also in open areas in forest.
    Especially pools in stream beds, usually with coarse detritus, often a soft (like muddy) bottom and/or probably emergent vegetation.
  • From altitude 0 to 1700 m above sea level, but mostly below 1300.
Behaviour:
  • Alert as it perches on twigs under tree (often high up) canopy over water.
  • Easily overlooked.
Compared with other species:
  • Similar to T. stictica (Jaunty Dropwing), but much darker.
  • T. aconite prefers forest streams and rivers less in the open than
  • T. Hecate (Silhouette Dropwing), prefers standing water in marches and floodplains

Learn More about other Dropwings, (Trithemis) Species

Distribution
Trithemis aconita Halfshade Dropwing Distrtibution Map South Africa Distrtibution Map
South Africa
Political Map South Africa Political Map
South Africa
Topographical Map South Africa Topographical Map
South Africa
Trithemis aconita Halfshade Dropwing Distribution Map Africa May 2023 Distribution Map
Africa
Political Map AfricaPolitical Map
Africa
Topographical Map AfricaTopographical
Map Africa

 South Africa:

  • Localised to Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Kwazulu-Natal and further north into East and West Africa.

Africa:

  • Angola; Benin; Botswana; Burkina Faso; Côte d'Ivoire; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Equatorial Guinea; Ethiopia; Gabon; Ghana; Guinee-Bissau; Kenya; Liberia; Malawi; Mozambique; Namibia; Nigeria; Republic of Guinea; Republic of South Africa; Sierra Leone; Tanzania; Togo; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Further reading:

Description

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