Red Rockdweller, Bradinopyga strachani, Wegkruipertjie

Short description:

Red Rockdweller, Bradinopyga strachani, Wegkruipertjie is Medium-sized, mottled grey, brown and greyish yellow thorax with a bright red abdomen with slight brown markings and red  appendages dragonfly

Family Libellulidae Leach, 1815
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Key identification features:


  • Face is brown with the labrum light grey Brownish grey lip.. Frons very rounded brown. Fontal shields dark brown with greyish white antifrons. Vertex very high, black on top, with a light yellowish grey base. 
  • Eyes are dark brown above grey brown becoming light grey brown below below.. 
  • Thorax mottled brown with  white / brown undefined spots.
  • Dorsal carina has well defined antealarsinus ("shark fin" shaped protrusion)
  • Wings are long, clear with brown veins   
  • Abdomen mottled pinkish/grey white and brown with distinct pinkish/ grey white markings on s 7. The marking on s 7 sometimes the only visible part when perching against a rock. May be whitish grey when young   Pale appendages


  • Very similar to male,   but with smaller horns on head. 
  • Mottles tends to be more pink than the male mottles when young  
  • More extensive darkened wing tip and hardly any basal streaks. S 7 lighter than with male  100 2633 Bradinopyga cornuta Horned Rockdweller Female Close up Alicedale LP RSA Dec 2018r 21
  • Abdomen stouter
Compared with other species:
  • The mottled colouring and the light patch on s 7 is unmistakable.
  • The horn like protrusions on the frons and vertex is very clear to see.
  • Bradinopyga strachani differs by having a rounded frons without horns, Wings clear rather than narrowly tipped brown. Abdomen ed with maturity, rather than mottled brown.
Distribution and habitat:

Distribution Map Africa  Red Rockdweller Bradinopyga strachaniStanding and mostly temporary waters in open landscapes, but sometimes in open areas in forest.
Often with bare banks and a hard (like rocky) bottom.
From 0 to 1600 m above sea level, but mostly below 600, although possibly up to 2100.

  • Settles on bare rocky outcrops and domes where the males are easily seen due the red abdomen. Females well camouflaged 
  • Extremely alert, and flies off rapidly when disturbed and usually returning later.
  • Females usually with or near males. 

Odonata Atlas of Africa Number 667070
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species  Least Concern
African Dragonflies & Damselflies Online


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