Heliaeschna cynthiae Fraser, 1939
Blade-tipped Duskhawker

Type locality: Entebbe, Lake Victoria, Uganda


Male is intermediate to other Heliaeschna species in many characters, but cerci are distinctive: (1) Hw 39-45 mm; (2) metapleural and humeral dark bands on thorax absent, or narrow and of similar width; (3) wing bases usually with dark subcostal rays, rather than being clear; (4) 23-30 Ax in Fw; (5) widest point of blade of cerci closer to apex than to base of blade, rather than being at mid-length of blade; (6) epiproct 40-45%, rather than 45-55%, length of cerci. [Adapted from Dijkstra & Clausnitzer 2014]

Habitat description

Not known well, but probably temporary standing waters shaded by (gallery) forest. Probably often with coarse detritus and a soft (like muddy) bottom. From 0 to 1500 m above sea level.


confirmed: Cameroon; Congo-Brazzaville; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Gabon; Liberia; Uganda; Zambia; NOT confirmed: Benin; Côte d'Ivoire; Ghana; Nigeria; Togo

© Stefan Geschke

Appendages (dorsal 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; Democratic Republic of Congo, Province Orientale, Lower Lomami © Dijkstra, K.-D.B.

Female; Democratic Republic of Congo, Province Orientale, Lower Lomami


  • Fraser, F.C. (1939). Heliaeschna cynthiae, a new species of dragonfly from Uganda (order Odonata). Proceedings Royal Entomological Society London Serie B, 8, 88-90. [PDF file]
  • Pinhey, E.C.G. (1962). New or little-known dragonflies (Odonata) of Central and Southern Africa. Occasional Papers National Museum Southern Rhodesia, 26, 892-911. [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. http://addo.adu.org.za/ [2024-06-21].