Orthetrum trinacria (Selys, 1841)
Long Skimmer

Type locality: Sicily, Italy


Long slender abdomen with either distinctive pale markings or notably dark pruinosity gives an unmistakable jizz. Male is structurally similar to O. sabina by hamule with prominent ridge on anterior border with hook well-separated from it, profile of hamule thus 3-pointed, hook being middle point. However, differs by (1) being widespread; (2) relatively larger size, Hw 29-38 mm; (3) pruinose with maturity; (4) anterior lamina with sparse fine whitish hairs; (5) Abd elongate rather than club-shaped, S4-10 slender throughout; (6) cerci dark rather than pale. [Adapted from Dijkstra & Clausnitzer 2014]

Habitat description

Mostly standing and probably often temporary waters, but also large lakes and possibly rivers, in open landscapes or sometimes open areas in forest. Often with a soft (like muddy) bottom. From 0 to 1900 m above sea level, but mostly below 1500.


confirmed: Algeria; Angola; Botswana; Burkina Faso; Côte d'Ivoire; Cameroon; Cape Verde; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Egypt; Ethiopia; Gabon; Gambia; Ghana; Guinee-Bissau; Kenya; Liberia; Libya; Malawi; Mali; Mauritania; Morocco; Mozambique; Namibia; Niger; Nigeria; Republic of South Africa; Rwanda; Senegal; Somalia; South Sudan; Swaziland; Tanzania; Togo; Tunisia; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe; NOT confirmed: Lesotho; Sudan

Male (mature) © Allan Brandon

Male (young) © 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.

Barcode specimen(s):

Female; Democratic Republic of Congo, Province Orientale, Kisangani © Dijkstra, K.-D.B.

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


  • de Sélys-Longchamps, E. (1841). Nouvelles Libellulidées d'Europe - analyse de l'ouvrage du Dr Hagen. Revue Zoologique Societe Cuvierienne, 4, 243-246.
  • Ris, F. (1921). The Odonata or Dragonflies of South Africa. Annals South African Museum, XVIII, 245-452. [PDF file]
  • 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]
  • Balinsky, B.I. (1961). Observations on the dragonfly fauna of the coastal region of Zululand, with descriptions of three new species (Odonata). Journal Entomological Society Southern Africa, 24, 72-91. [PDF file]
  • 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]
  • Longfield, C. (1955). The Odonata of N. Angola. Part I. Publicacoes culturais Companhia Diamantes Angola, 27, 11-63. [PDF file]

Citation: Dijkstra, K.-D.B (editor). African Dragonflies and Damselflies Online. http://addo.adu.org.za/ [2024-07-25].