Aethiothemis basilewskyi Fraser, 1954
Black Flasher


  • scientific: A. watulikii Pinhey, 1962

Type locality: Ubangi, Gele, DRC


Male is similar to A. bella by (a) small size, Hw 19-25 mm; (b) dorsum of frons usually dark; (c) labium at least with contrasting black markings on most of central lobe and inner border of lateral lobes; (d) mesepisternum with 1 pale stripe; (e) black interpleural stripe complete; (f) Fw triangle and subtriangle both of 1 cell, but both sometimes of 2; (g) costa and subcostal Ax dark, like subcosta and median vein; (h) hook of hamule large and broad, anterior profile of hamule almost rectangularly concave; (i) Abd slender, S3 at least 2x as long as wide. However, differs by (1) labrum all black rather than largely pale; (2) interpleural stripe merged (at least dorsally) with broad metapleural stripe. [Adapted from Dijkstra & Clausnitzer 2014]

Habitat description

Standing and often temporary waters shaded by forest. Usually with coarse detritus. From 200 to 600 m above sea level, but possibly up to 1400.


confirmed: Congo-Brazzaville; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Gabon; Zambia

Male and female © Nicolas Meziere

Abdomen (dorsal view)

Abdominal segment 2 (lateral view)

Thorax (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; Gabon, Haut-Ogoué, piste à droite avant africa n°1 (direction franceville) © Mézière, Nicolas

Male; Gabon, Haut-Ogoué, Africa n°1 © Mézière, Nicolas, Renoult Julien

Male; Gabon, Haut-Ogoué, Africa n°1 © Mézière, Nicolas, Renoult Julien

Male; Gabon, Haut-Ogoué, Africa n°1 © Mézière, Nicolas


  • Fraser, F.C. (1954). Further notes and descriptions of new species of Libellulidae from tropical Africa. Revue Zoologie Botanique Africaines, 50, 252-268. [PDF file]

Citation: Dijkstra, K.-D.B (editor). African Dragonflies and Damselflies Online. [2024-07-25].