Gynacantha (B) usambarica Sjöstedt, 1909
Eastern Duskhawker


  • scientific: G. zuluensis (Balinsky, 1961)
  • vernacular: Usambara D.; Zulu D.

Type locality: Mombo, Usambara Mts, Tanzania


Male is similar to G. nigeriensis by (a) size, Hw 43-48; (b) frons with distinct black marking but no dots anterior to antennae; (c) genital fossa border with distinct rows of 8-20 denticles; (d) wing bases clear; (e) legs uniformly pale, including tarsi and joints; (f) S3 distinctly waisted near base; (g) ventral carinae S7-8 and usually S6 with denticles; (h) lateral carinae S8 normally with denticles, like ventral carinae; (i) cerci of rather even width throughout. However, differs by (1) ranging from SE Kenya and N Malawi to NE South Africa; (2) stem of black mark on frons thick rather than narrow, as long as wide; (3) outer border of auricles strongly convex rather than straight, making them rounded in shape (ventral view); (4) venter S1, anterior to genital fossa, usually with denticles rather than bare; (5) ventral carinae S8 with denticles in 1 row, rather than 2-3 rows. [Adapted from Dijkstra & Clausnitzer 2014]

Habitat description

Standing and mostly temporary waters shaded by forest. Usually with coarse detritus and mostly a soft (like muddy) bottom. Inferred to occur from 0 to 1000 m above sea level, but mostly near sea level, although possibly up to 1800.


confirmed: Kenya; Malawi; Mozambique; Republic of South Africa; Tanzania

Male © Gerhard Diedericks

Appendages (dorsal view)

Abdominal segment 2 (ventral view)

Head (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.


  • Sjöstedt, Y. (1909). Wissenschaftliche Ergebnisse der schwedischen zoologischen Expedition nach dem Kilimandjaro, dem Meru und den umgebenden Massaisteppen Deutsch-Ostafrikas 1905-1906 unter Leitung von Prof. Dr. Yngve Sjöstedt. 14. Pseudoneuroptera. 1. Odonata, 14, 1-52.

Citation: Dijkstra, K.-D.B (editor). African Dragonflies and Damselflies Online. [2024-05-29].