Highland Dropwing, Trithemis dorsalis, Hooglandvalvlerkie.

100 2041 Trithemis dorsalis Highland Dropwing Male Kimiad GP RSA Oct 2015r 1Male

100 2044 T  Female Kloofzight GP RSA Nov 2015r 1Female

100 2046 Trithemis dorsalis Highland Dropwing Ring Kloofzight GP RSA Nov 2015r 1Pair

Short description:

Highland Dropwing, Trithemis dorsalis, Hooglandvalvlerkie is medium sized and deep blue.

Family Libellulidae Leach, 1815

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Explain complete and incomplete Ax veins

Annotated Images of complete and incomplete Ax veins Ax Navy DropwingWing venation

 

 

 

 

 

Guides:

 Male:100 3777 Trithemis dorsalis Highlands Dropwing Male GP RSA Oct 2016r 7

  • Face is light yellow brown, dark brown and black.100 3782 Trithemis dorsalis Highlands Dropwing Male GP RSA Oct 2016r 3 100 3781 Trithemis dorsalis Highlands Dropwing Male GP RSA Oct 2016r 8
  • Eyes are dark purple brown, lighter below.100 3782 Trithemis dorsalis Highlands Dropwing Male GP RSA Oct 2016r 3
  • Thorax and abdomen deep blue.100 3776h Trithemis dorsalis Highlands Dropwing Male GP RSA Oct 2016r 1
  • Wings clear, small basal amber patch present on hindwing. Ax veins creamy to yellow. Last Ax vein crosses the subcostal vein to join the radial vein (called Ax vein complete.) 10-12½ Ax in Fw [8½-14½]
  • Pterostigmas brownish black, often with whitish outer veins borders115 511 eddie 13A4855 wing

Females 100 767 Trithemis dorsalis Highlands Dropwing Female Kromdraai GP RSA Nov 2016r 5

  • Yellowish with black markings.100 767 Trithemis dorsalis Highlands Dropwing Female Kromdraai GP RSA Nov 2016r 5
  • Face Yellow Eyes Dark purplish brown at top blueish grey below
  • Thorax has two pairs of diagonal black zigzag lines on either side. Dorsal thorax with 2 dark brown to black almost isosceles triangle (diagnostic) 100 770 Trithemis dorsalis Highlands Dropwing Female Kromdraai GP RSA Nov 2016r 9 either side of the dorsal white marked carina pointing rearwards.
  • Wings have small smoky patches near bases and at nodus100 774 Trithemis dorsalis Highlands Dropwing Female Kromdraai GP RSA Nov 2016r 2.Pterostigmas are yellowish brown, becoming dark brown with age with white stipe on the inner and outer side.
  • Abdomen has broad black band on dorsal abdomen with reasonably wide black band running along the top.100 772 Trithemis dorsalis Highlands Dropwing Female Kromdraai GP RSA Nov 2016r 13
Habitat:
  • Standing waters, rivers and streams in open landscapes. Often with emergent vegetation and a soft (like muddy) bottom. 
  • From 0 to 2400 m above sea level, but mostly between 1000 and 2100.
Behaviour:
  • Mostly streams, but also rivers, in open landscapes and open areas in forest.
  • Often with emergent vegetation and rocks. From 0 to 2500 m above sea level, but mostly below 2000.
Compared with other species:
  • Almost impossible distinguish the male Highland Dropwing from the male Navy Dropwing 100 2902 Trithemis furva Navy Dropwing Male Close up1 Ezemvelo GP RSA Nov 2019r 3 in the field.
  • Presence of small white stripe on the outer sides of the pterostigma would suggest the Highland Dropwing, 115 511 eddie 13A4855 wing 100 2917 Trithemis furva Navy Dropwing Male Close up1 Ezemvelo GP RSA Nov 2019r 34
  • Presence of a white patch in the form of a Nike logo in the pterostigma would suggest the Navy Dropwing.
  • Further corroborating habits include its high elevation territory (co-habitats in the mid altitudes) and still water habitat. Tendency to perch on grasses.
  • The only definitive identification characteristic is the shape of the hamule hook, which is rounded in the Highland Dropwing, but claw-shaped in the Navy Dropwing.

Learn More about other Dropwings, (Trithemis) Species

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Distribution 

Trithemis Dorsalis Highland Dropwing Distribution Map May 2020Distribution Map
South Africa

Political Map South Africa Political Map
South Africa

Topographical Map South Africa Topographical Map
South Africa

Trithemis dorsalis Highland Dropwing Distribution Map Africa May 2023Distribution Map
Africa

Political Map AfricaPolitical Map
Africa

Topographical Map AfricaTopographical
Map Africa

 

 

South Africa:

  • Most of South Africa, but with little known presence in the dry central and western interior.  

Africa:

  •  Angola; Burundi; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Kenya; Mozambique; Republic of South Africa; Swaziland; Tanzania; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Further reading:

Websites:

VM OdonataMAP logo 108x90 RGB trOdonata Atlas of Africa VMU Number 668870
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South AfricaA Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa

IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesThe IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
African Dragonflies & Damselflies OnlineAfrican Dragonflies & Damselflies Online

 

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