Nesciothemis minor Gambles, 1966
Small Blacktail

Type locality: Ka Yima, Sierra Leone


Male is similar to N. farinosa and N. pujoli by black S7-10, often with yellow streaks. However, differs by (1) more partial to running waters from CAR to W Africa; (2) smaller size, Hw 27-29 mm, rarely up to 31 mm; (3) labrum pale and tibiae black with pale streaks even with maturity; (4) Abd pruinose to end of S6, rather than at most to the base of that segment. Note, however, that males of N. farinosa from south-western Africa (e.g. Angola, Botswana) with pruinosity to S7 or even S8 have been confused with N. minor, and may represent another species. [Adapted from Dijkstra & Clausnitzer 2014]

Habitat description

Mostly rivers, but also streams, in open landscapes. Probably especially faster sections (rapids, falls). From 0 to 1400 m above sea level.


confirmed: Central African Republic; Ghana; Liberia; Nigeria; Republic of Guinea; Sierra Leone; NOT confirmed: Côte d'Ivoire; Cameroon

Abdominal segment 2 (lateral view)

Map citation: Clausnitzer, V., K.-D.B. Dijkstra, R. Koch, J.-P. Boudot, W.R.T. Darwall, J. Kipping, B. Samraoui, M.J. Samways, J.P. Simaika & F. Suhling, 2012. Focus on African Freshwaters: hotspots of dragonfly diversity and conservation concern. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 10: 129-134.

Barcode specimen(s):

Male; Liberia, Nimba County, east of Gbapa © Dijkstra, K.-D.B.


  • Gambles, R.M. (1966). Two new species of Nesciothemis Longfield, 1955 (Odonata) from Nigeria. Entomologist, 1966, 162-173. [PDF file]

Citation: Dijkstra, K.-D.B (editor). African Dragonflies and Damselflies Online. [2024-07-20].