Genus Aethriamanta Kirby, 1889
pygmy baskers

Type species: Libellula brevipennis Rambur, 1942


Four species are known from tropical Asia to Australia, while A. rezia occurs throughout tropical Africa and Madagascar. It is a very small (hindwing 19-23 mm) dragonfly of open well-vegetated marshes, which especially likes floating plants like Salvinia and Pistia. It recalls a miniature Urothemis assignata: mature males are entirely deep red with legs, venation and a ‘ladder’ on abdominal segments 3-10 black. The hindwing marking is diagnostic: the base is yellow with dark subcostal and cubital streaks. [Adapted from Dijkstra & Clausnitzer 2014]


Male of genus is similar to Selysiothemis by (a) Fw triangle always of 1 cell, subtriangle 1-3; (b) Fw discoidal field of 2 cell-rows at base; (c) 6 Ax in Fw [6-7]; (d) subtriangle of 1 cell; (e) distal Ax in Fw complete, extends across subcosta like proximal Ax; (f) arculus in all wings usually closer to Ax1 than Ax2; (g) sectors of arculus in Fw often separate at or just distal to arculus; (h) Hw base not so broad, cells evenly proportioned, and base with large dark patch; (i) S4 without transverse ridge, although colour pattern or scar-like seam may indicate its position, there is no ridge of similar magnitude as transverse ridge of S3 and lateral carina of S4. However, differs by (1) smaller size, Hw 19-23 mm; (2) hamule much longer than genital lobe; (3) Hw base amber with darker subcostal and cubital streaks; (4) venation dark rather than pale; (5) Abd red rather than black with maturity. [Adapted from Dijkstra & Clausnitzer 2014; this diagnosis not yet verified by author]

Aethriamanta rezia Kirby, 1889. Male © Nicolas Meziere

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.


  • Dijkstra, K.-D.B, and Clausnitzer, V. (2014). The Dragonflies and Damselflies of Eastern Africa: handbook for all Odonata from Sudan to Zimbabwe. Studies in Afrotropical Zoology, 298, 1-264.
  • Pinhey, E.C.G. (1961). Dragonflies (Odonata) of Central Africa. Occasional Papers Rhodes-Livingstone Museum, 14, 1-97. [PDF file]
  • Schouteden, H. (1934). Annales Musee Congo belge Zoologie 3 Section 2, 3, 1-84. [PDF file]

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