Dropwings - General (Trithemis)

Family Libellulidae Leach, 1815
Worldwide Distribution
  • More than 40 species mainly in Africa. 2 Species endemic to Madagascar 5 Species endemic to Asia
South Africa
  • Eleven species are present in the southern African Region
General information:
  • The name Dropwing as used for this genus is due to the way it perches with wings held downwards 100 907 Trithemis annulata Violet Dropwing Female Moreletta Sept 2016r 2and forwards when at rest.. Note: This way of perching  may be seen in other species of Dragonflies that is not in the Dropwing genus
  • Small (30 mm) to medium sized (53 mm) (hindwing 21-35 mm) sized  Click HERE Size 1 for size diagram
  • Found at all kinds of freshwater habitats
  • Male colour typically bright.100 840 Trithemis arteriosa Red vained Dropwing Komatipoort Sept 2016r 1 Female typically cryptic colours and well-marked 100 843 Trithemis arteriosa Red veined Dropwing Female Marloth Park Sept 2016r 1
  • Dropwing species can be grouped loosely based on colour, habitat, and genitalia
  • Colours within the genus
    • Predominantly red (russet or brownish) with maturity, appearing violet if pruinose, with striking orange or yellow wing patches often with wing markings or coloured veins
    • Largely dark, often (partly) blue or black pruinose with maturity, light blue or a mid-blue usually with reduced wings markings.
    • Colours change markedly with maturation. Red, violet or pruinose parts may be yellowish, brown or black in young or preserved specimens
Males and Females
  • Males100 840 Trithemis arteriosa Red vained Dropwing Komatipoort Sept 2016r 1 and females 100 843 Trithemis arteriosa Red veined Dropwing Female Marloth Park Sept 2016r 1differ in colour .For this guide we will show only mature males (where possible)
  • To view females of a species follow the links of the males

Grouping of species:

By Colour

A click on species/common name will link to the main species description article and image gallery.

Red, Violet and Brown

Blue

Mid Blue 

Light Blue 

 

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