Trithemis werneri Ris, 1912
Elegant Dropwing

Type locality: Gondokoro, Sudan


Male is similar to T. bredoi and T. kalula by (a) labrum often largely pale; (b) wing markings much less extensive, usually exclude triangle in Hw, never extend beyond Ax1 in Fw; (c) Pt 2.5 mm or more; (d) Hw base yellow, orange or amber, colour usually surpasses Cux; (e) venation largely pale, yellow to red, often contrasting with black veins of Pt; (f) hook of hamule slender; (g) Abd largely pale, with some black markings, appears orange, red, or pruinose violet with maturity; (h) at least S8 with broad black marking and S9 largely black. However, differs by (1) ranging from South Sudan to Namibia and South Africa; (2) vertex and dorsum of frons yellowish to red, not metallic; (3) anterior lamina bulbous, apex with dense clump of short bristly hairs; (4) Abd very slender, S4 about 4x as long as wide (best seen in ventral view). [Adapted from Dijkstra & Clausnitzer 2014; this diagnosis not yet verified by author]

Habitat description

Mostly rivers, but also streams, in open landscapes or shaded by gallery forest. Often with emergent vegetation. From 0 to 1000 m above sea level, but possibly up to 1300.


confirmed: Angola; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Kenya; Malawi; Mozambique; Namibia; Republic of South Africa; South Sudan; Tanzania; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe; NOT confirmed: Sudan

Male © Allan Brandon

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.


  • Ris, F. (1912). Libellulinen 6. Fasc. XIV in Collections Zoologiques du Baron Edm. de Selys Longchamps. Brussels: Institut royal des Sciences naturelles de Belgique, 14, 701-836.
  • Pinhey, E.C.G. (1961). Dragonflies (Odonata) of Central Africa. Occasional Papers Rhodes-Livingstone Museum, 14, 1-97. [PDF file]
  • Pinhey, E.C.G. (1966). Check-list of dragonflies (Odonata) from Malawi, with description of a new Teinobasis Kirby. Arnoldia, 2, 1-24. [PDF file]
  • Schouteden, H. (1934). Annales Musee Congo belge Zoologie 3 Section 2, 3, 1-84. [PDF file]
  • Pinhey, E. C. G. (1970) Monographic study of the genus Trithemis Brauer (Odonata: Libellulidae). Memoirs Entomological Society Southern Africa 11: 1-159 [PDF file]

Citation: Dijkstra, K.-D.B (editor). African Dragonflies and Damselflies Online. [2024-07-21].