Little Scarlet, Crocothemis sanguinolenta, Klein Blossie.
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
Also known as Slim Scarlet-darter, Small Scarlet
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Key identification features:
- 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.
- Thorax is deep crimson to brownish red with weak shoulder stripe contrasting dark and light.
- 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.
- Young males and Females similar
- Colour is light golden yellow becoming plain orange brown to dull reddish with age.
- Dorsal thorax slightly darker with whitish antihumeral stripe and brown humeral stripe (shoulder stripes).
- 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 with, in lateral view, the line between each segment ends, at the hind side, in an indistinct arrow like pattern.
- 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.
- 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 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. 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.
- Found throughout Limpopo, North West, MP, KZN and Western Cape Provinces of South 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
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