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

More Images:

100 1162  Male Mooinooi NWP RSA Jan 2016r 2Image Gallery

100 1968   Close up Bobejaan Aug 2017r 5Male

100 1961  Mooinooi NWP RSA Nov 2016r 4Female

100 2756  Female Close up Ezemvero NR GP RSA Oct 2019r 5Female

 
 
 
 
 
 

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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 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 with 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.

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:
  • 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 erythraea
  • C. sanguinolenta has a narrower abdomen (3 mm or less wide).
  • C. sanguinolenta lateral carinae 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).
  • Female varies in colour from a light golden to darkish mustard colour.
Distribution
Distribution Map June 2020
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species   Least Concern
Odonata Atlas of Africa VMU Number 6667140
African Dragonflies and Damselflies Online
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa

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