Mesocnemis singularis Karsch, 1891
Common (Forest/Savanna) Riverjack


  • scientific: FOREST SPECIES: Mesocnemis pruinosa (Fraser, 1928) WOULD BE SAVANNA SPECIES

Type locality: Cameroon, no locality data available.


Male is similar to M. saralisa by (a) size, Hw 22-27 mm (b) 16-21 Px in Fw (c) base of cerci bears two long finger- and thumb-like processes directed inwards, visible in dorsal view (d) paraprocts more quadrangular. However, differs by (1) distribution more widespread; (2) proximal cercal process is thumb-like and directed in- and downwards, while thin distal process is finger-like and lies closely against it, neither process is clearly visible in lateral view; (3) paraprocts quadrangular, rather than triangular in ventral view, with strongly angled, rather than smooth outer border. [Adapted from Dijkstra & Clausnitzer 2014; this diagnosis not yet verified by author]

Habitat description

Mostly rivers, but also streams and large lakes, mostly shaded by gallery forest, but also in open landscapes and open areas in forest. Often faster sections (rapids, falls) with emergent vegetation, submerged roots, rocks and/or probably overhanging branches. From 0 to 1400 m above sea level, but mostly between 100 and 1300.


confirmed: Benin; Botswana; Côte d'Ivoire; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Ethiopia; Ghana; Kenya; Liberia; Malawi; Mali; Mozambique; Namibia; Nigeria; Republic of Guinea; Republic of South Africa; Sierra Leone; South Sudan; Swaziland; Tanzania; Togo; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe; NOT confirmed: Angola; Congo-Brazzaville

Male (mature) © Jens Kipping

Male (mature) © Rob Felix

Appendages (dorsal view)

Appendages (lateral view)

Appendages (ventral view)

Appendages (caudal 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):

Adult, male; Zimbabwe, Manicaland, © Dijkstra, K.-D.B.

Adult, male; Zimbabwe, Manicaland, © Dijkstra, K.-D.B.

Adult, female; Zimbabwe, Manicaland, © Dijkstra, K.-D.B.

Male; Democratic Republic of Congo, Katanga, © Dijkstra, K.-D.B.

Male; Liberia, Nimba County, border with Guinea © Dijkstra, K.-D.B. & M. Darpay

Male; Liberia, Nimba County, Yekepa-Gbeleyee Road © Dijkstra, K.-D.B.

Male; Tanzania, Kigoma Region, Lower Malagarasi Basin © Dijkstra, K.-D.B.

Female; Liberia, Grand Gedeh County, © Dijkstra, K.-D.B. & A. Dayeker

Male; Democratic Republic of Congo, Province Orientale, Lower Aruwimi © Dijkstra, K.-D.B.

Male; Liberia, Grand Gedeh County, © Dijkstra, K.-D.B. & A. Dayeker


  • Karsch, F. (1891). Übersicht der von Herrn Dr. Paul Preuss in Deutsch-West-Afrika 1890 gesammelten Odonaten. Entomologische Nachrichten, 17, 65-81.
  • Longfield, C. (1936). Studies on African Odonata, with synonymy and descriptions of new species and subspecies. Transactions Royal Entomological Society London, 85, 467-498. [PDF file]
  • Gerstäcker, A. (1891). Jahrbuch Hamburgischen Wissenschaftlichen Anstalten, 9, 185-191. [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]
  • Karsch, F. (1899). Odonaten von Johann-Alrecht-Höhe (Nord- Kamerun), gesammelt von Herrn Leopold Conradt. Entomologische Nachrichten, 25, 161-176. [PDF file]
  • Schouteden, H. (1934). Annales Musee Congo belge Zoologie 3 Section 2, 3, 1-84. [PDF file]
  • D' Andrea, M., and Carfi, S. (1997). Nuove raccolte di odonati del Camerun con note su Agriocnemis maclachlani Selys, 1877 edescrizione di Agriocnemis dissimilis sp. nov. e Trithemis osvaldae sp. nov. Atti Societa italiana Scienze naturali, 136, 157-190. [PDF file]

Citation: Dijkstra, K.-D.B (editor). African Dragonflies and Damselflies Online. [2024-06-20].