Red Groundling, Brachythemis lacustris, Rooigrondwagtertjie

100 1438   Male Vaalwater LP Apr 2017r 6
100 2357 Male Nwanedi LP RSA Dec 2018r 15
100 1445   Female Tshipise LP Mch 2016r 5
Short description:

Red Groundling, Brachythemis lacustris , Rooigrondwagtertjie is small sized, stocky, bright red, with a dark brownish red face and eyes and with large orange splashes on wings and broad red abdomen.

Family Libellulidae Leach, 1815

Links to images:

100 1436   Male Tshipise LP Mch 2016r 7Image Gallery

100 2371  Male Close up Nwanedi LP RSA Dec 2018r 4Male

100 2362 Close up Nwanedi LP RSA Dec 2018r 6Female

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Guides
Key identification features:

Male:

  • Face and vertex is darkish red 100 2374 Brachythemis lacustris Red Groundling Male Close up Nwanedi LP RSA Dec 2018r 9
  • Dark red eyes above becoming pinkish grey below. Brown bands visible on upper eyes ((diagnostic in Groundlings (Genus Brachythemis)) 100 2374 Brachythemis lacustris Red Groundling Male Close up Nwanedi LP RSA Dec 2018r 9
  • Thorax is bright red to pinkish red 100 2372 Brachythemis lacustris Red Groundling Male Close up Nwanedi LP RSA Dec 2018r 6
  • Wings are all with large, bright orange to dark amber splashes, almost reaching nodus on front wing but reach the nodus on Hind wing. No cell-doublings in radial planate (Rspl loop) of all wings although rarely 1 or 2. Hind wing is small but broad (22 – 25mm). 100 2379 Brachythemis lacustris Red Groundling Male Close up Nwanedi LP RSA Dec 2018r 18 Pterostigmas relatively short, yellowish brown on inside, dark reddish brown on outside, 2.1–2.2 mm long 100 2380 Brachythemis lacustris Red Groundling Male Close up Nwanedi LP RSA Dec 2018r 1
  • Abdomen is broad swollen at base that hardly tapers. S1-4 is all bright red; with no dark or black markings. S5-10 has a light black line broadening slightly towards S10. This line may dull with age.100 2376 Brachythemis lacustris Red Groundling Male Close up Nwanedi LP RSA Dec 2018r 13  100 2377 Brachythemis lacustris Red Groundling Male Close up Nwanedi LP RSA Dec 2018r 12

Female

  • All yellowish and light brown with few distinctive markings 100 2362 Brachythemis lacustris Red Groundling Female Close up Nwanedi LP RSA Dec 2018r 6
  • Stouter body, 100 2362 Brachythemis lacustris Red Groundling Female Close up Nwanedi LP RSA Dec 2018r 6
  • wings clear, no orange markings. 100 2369 Brachythemis lacustris Red Groundling Female Close up Nwanedi LP RSA Dec 2018r 16
  • Pterostigmas yellow with brown on outside100 2370 Brachythemis lacustris Red Groundling Female Close up Nwanedi LP RSA Dec 2018r 18
Habitat:
  • Prefers meandering, partially tree-lined, streams and rivers with rocks and fringed with tall grass.
  • Found from 0 to 1800 m above sea level, but mostly below 1100.
Behaviour:
  • Males and females co-habitat
  • Male may perch in large numbers near the water (sometimes in the shade)
Compared with other species:
  • Small in size compared with the Orange-winged Dropwing, Trithemis Kirbyi. 101 598 Trithemis kirbyi Orange winged Dropwing Male Tshipise LP RSA Dec 2016
  • Amber patches reach the nodus but on T. Kirbyi it only reaches about halfway to the nodus.
  • T Kirbyi has a slender abdomen.
  • T. Kirbyi more orange than the deeper red of B. lacustris.
  • Both species prefers to perch on rocks but B. lacustris is highly gregarious and many individuals may be found perched alongside each other
  • T. Kirbyi has red veins in the area of the nodus compared to the black veins if B. lacustris.
  • Orange in wings of B. lacustris continues intense but it is less intense and not always continuous in T Kirbyi.
  • Female similar to female Southern Banded Groundling (B. leucosticta) Lateral stripe on abdomen dark  brown compared with lightish brown on Red Groundling
Distribution
Brachythemis lacustris Red Groundling Distribution Map May 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

South Africa:

  • Mpumalanga, Limpopo and possibly in the northern areas of North West Province. New records indicate presence in the western interior of Mpumalanga on the central Gauteng border. 

Africa:

  • Angola; Benin; Botswana; Burkina Faso; Cameroon; Chad; Congo-Brazzaville; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Ethiopia; Gambia; Ghana; Kenya; Liberia; Malawi; Mali; Mozambique; Namibia; Niger; Nigeria; Republic of South Africa; Senegal; Sierra Leone; Somalia; South Sudan; Tanzania; Togo; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe;
Further reading:

Websites of interest:
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa
Odonata Atlas of Africa VMU Number 667020
African Dragonflies and Damselflies Online

The IUCN Red list of threatened Species

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