Little Scarlet, Crocothemis sanguinolenta, Klein Blossie.

100 1160 Male Ezemvelo Nov 2016r 4

100 1165   Young Male river Dec 2016r 4

100 1170 Crocothemis sanguinolenta Little Scarlet Teneral Female Mooinooi NWP RSA Dec 2015r 3

Short description:

Little Scarlet, Crocothemis sanguinolenta, Genus Crocothemis, Family Libellulidae, small to medium sized dragonfly with scarlet to bright golden colouration and a long, slender body with diagnostic markings on the abdomen

Family Libellulidae Leach, 1815

Also known as Slim Scarlet-darter, Small Scarlet

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Key identification features:

Male: 100 1162 Crocothemis sanguinolenta Little Scarlet Male Mooinooi NWP RSA Jan 2016r 2

  • Face is reddish with the labrum and anteclypeus dull orange red. Postclypeus is red. Frons is red in front and dull red above. The head is dull red above. Eyes are dark crimson with dull blue line along hind margin. 100 1973 Crocothemis sanguinolenta Little Scarlet Mooinooi NWP RSA Nov 2016r 11  100 1972 Crocothemis sanguinolenta Little Scarlet Mooinooi NWP RSA Nov 2016r 8
  • Thorax is deep crimson to brownish red becoming aviolet when very old with weak shoulder stripe contrasting dark and light. 100 1969 Crocothemis sanguinolenta Little Scarlet Mooinooi NWP RSA Nov 2016r 5  100 1970 Crocothemis sanguinolenta Little Scarlet Mooinooi NWP RSA Nov 2016r 4
  • Wings clear with red main veins, hind wings with small amber basal patches, fore wings with only hint of basal patches. Pterostigmas are short, yellowish to bright reddish brown, 3.1–3.3 mm long.
  • Abdomen is stout but not wide, all bright red with indistinct dark line running all the way along top mid line. The line between each segment ends, at the hind side, in an indistinct arrow like pattern. 100 1975 Crocothemis sanguinolenta Little Scarlet Mooinooi NWP RSA Nov 2016r 14  100 1977 Crocothemis sanguinolenta Little Scarlet Mooinooi NWP RSA Nov 2016r 20
  • Young males and Females similar

Females:  100 1166 Crocothemis sanguinolenta Little Scarlet Old Female Mooinooi NWP RSA Dec 2015r 1

  • Colour is light golden yellow 100 1961 Crocothemis sanguinolenta Little Scarlet Female Mooinooi NWP RSA Nov 2016r 4  becoming plain orange brown to dull reddish brown or mustard with age and can also become a violet colour with very old age . 100 1166 Crocothemis sanguinolenta Little Scarlet Old Female Mooinooi NWP RSA Dec 2015r 1
  • Dorsal thorax slightly darker with whitish antihumeral stripe and brown humeral stripe (shoulder stripes). 100 1962 Crocothemis sanguinolenta Little Scarlet Female Mooinooi NWP RSA Nov 2016r 7  100 1963 Crocothemis sanguinolenta Little Scarlet Female Mooinooi NWP RSA Nov 2016r 6
  • Wing veins brown, hind wings with similar basal amber patches. Pterostigmas light yellowish brown becoming reddish brown with age and 3 mm long.
  • Abdomen stout but not wide  100 1966 Crocothemis sanguinolenta Little Scarlet Female Mooinooi NWP RSA Nov 2016r 17  with, in lateral view, the line between each segment ends, at the hind side, in an indistinct arrow like pattern. With age this may extend to the the full segment width. Scale of vulva long and may extend past s 10 to slightly below the claspers 100 3318 Broad Scarlet Vulva scale Anotated 

Note:

  • Members of the Genus Crocothemis may spend long periods away from water, being reproductive inactive, becoming  duller/darker, e.g. orange, brown or greyish.
Distribution and habitat:
  • Found mostly at streams, but also headwaters, in open landscapes, open areas in forest or shaded by gallery forest. Often faster sections with emergent vegetation and rocks
  • From 0 to 2300 m above sea level, but mostly below 1800.
Behaviour
  •  Perch mainly on ground or rocks. While perching it is alert and readily takes flight
Compared with other species:

General 

  • Over most of its range, Crocothemis sanguinolenta 100 1968 Crocothemis sanguinolenta Little Scarlet Male Close up Bobejaan Aug 2017r 5 is easily confused with Crocothemis erythraea102 022 2018 03 13 hluhluwe broad scarlet Male

Males

  • C. sanguinolenta has a narrower abdomen (3 mm or less wide).
  • C. sanguinolenta lateral carina of S3 to S7 are usually marked with black dashes. 100 1966 Crocothemis sanguinolenta Little Scarlet Female Mooinooi NWP RSA Nov 2016r 17  Pterostigmas are short compared to C. erythraea and usually the same colour as the abdomen (red in mature males).
  • C. sanguinolenta preferred habitat is on the ground or rocks seldom perches on grass or reeds. prefers to perch grass or reeds.

Females

  • Female varies in colour from a light golden to darkish mustard colour. with C. sanguinolenta becoming violet with age.
  • C. sanguinolenta has longer vulva scale  than C erythraea
  • C. sanguinolenta has distinct black marks on the lateral abdomen carina 
Related Species:
Distribution
Distribution Map June 2020Distribution Map
South Africa
Physical Map South Africa Physical Map
South Africa
Political Map South africa Political Map
South Africa
Crocothemis sanguinolenta Little ScarletAfrica Distribution Map Oct 2021Distribution Map Africa
Physical Map AfricaPhysical Map
Africa
Political Map AfricaPolitical Map
Africa
 
 

South Africa:

  • Found throughout Limpopo, North West, MP, KZN and Western Cape Provinces of South Africa.

Africa:

  • Angola; Benin; Botswana; Burkina Faso; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Chad; Congo-Brazzaville; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Ethiopia; Gabon; Gambia; Ghana; Guinee-Bissau; Kenya; Liberia; Malawi; Mali; Mozambique; Namibia; Nigeria; Republic of Guinea; Republic of South Africa; Rwanda; São Tomé & Príncipe; Sierra Leone; Sudan; Swaziland; Tanzania; Togo; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Further reading:

Websites of Interest

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