Trithemis dichroa Karsch, 1893
Black Dropwing

Type locality: Togo, no locality data available.


Male is similar to T. dorsalis and T. ellenbeckii by (a) with maturity, thorax and Abd uniformly pruinose dark blue to black; (b) 10-12½ Ax in Fw [8½-14½]; (c) Hw base with distinct amber patch, which extends onto anal field and/or at least halfway to Cux; (d) apex of anterior lamina with group of long, often coagulated, hairs; (e) anterior lamina with bulbous anterior profile and without knobs; (f) hook of hamule with rather thick tip; (g) genital lobe slender, narrower than hamule; (h) Abd broad, S4 always under 3x as long as wide (best seen in ventral view). However, differs by (1) ranging from N Zambia to W Tanzania, Uganda and W Africa; (2) dorsum of frons glossy black rather than metallic purple; (3) pruinosity of thorax and Abd in life black rather than dark blue. [Adapted from Dijkstra & Clausnitzer 2014; this diagnosis not yet verified by author]

Habitat description

Streams, but possibly also rivers, mostly in open areas in forest, but also shaded by gallery forest. Often with emergent vegetation. From 0 to 1600 m above sea level, but mostly below 700, although possibly even higher up.


confirmed: Angola; Benin; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Congo-Brazzaville; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Equatorial Guinea; Gabon; Ghana; Guinee-Bissau; Liberia; Mali; Nigeria; Republic of Guinea; Rwanda; Sierra Leone; Sudan; Tanzania; Togo; Uganda; Zambia; NOT confirmed: Côte d'Ivoire

Male © Nicolas Meziere

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):

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

Male; Gabon, Haut-Ogooué, Mounana-Lastoursville Road © Dijkstra, K.-D.B. & Nicolas Mézière

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

Male; Liberia, Nimba County, east of Gbapa © Dijkstra, K.-D.B.

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

Adult, male; Angola, Uige Province, new campus site and environs © Clausnitzer, V. & Dijkstra, K.-D.B.

Adult, female; Angola, Uige Province, new campus site and environs © Dijkstra, K.-D.B.

Adult, male; Angola, Uige Province, new campus site and environs © Dijkstra, K.-D.B.


  • Karsch, F. (1893). Die Insecten der Berglandschaft Adeli im Hinterlande von Togo (Westafrika) nach dem von den Herren Hauptmann Eugen Kling imd Dr. Richard Büttner, gesammelten Materiale bearbeitet von Dr. F. Karsch, mit einem Vorworte von Dr. Richard Büttner. I Abtheilung Apterygola, Odonata, Orthoptera saltatoria. Lepidoptera. Rhopalocera. Berliner Entomologische Zeitschrift, 38, 1-266, (Odonata, 17-48).
  • Pinhey, E.C.G. (1971). Odonata of Fernando Po Island and of neighbouring Cameroons Territory. Journal Entomological Society Southern Africa, 34, 215-229. [PDF file]
  • Pinhey, E.C.G. (1961). Dragonflies (Odonata) of Central Africa. Occasional Papers Rhodes-Livingstone Museum, 14, 1-97. [PDF file]
  • Longfield, C. (1959). The Odonata of N. Angola. Part II. Publicacoes culturais Companhia Diamantes Angola, 45, 13-42. [PDF file]
  • Sjöstedt, Y. (1900). Odonaten aus Kamerun, West -Afrika. Beltrage Zur Kenntnis der insektenfauna von Kamerun. Binhang Kongliga Svenka VetenskapsAkademiens Handlingar, 25, 1-62.
  • Schouteden, H. (1934). Annales Musee Congo belge Zoologie 3 Section 2, 3, 1-84. [PDF file]
  • Pinhey, E.C.G. (1971). Odonata collected in Republique Centre-Africaine by R. Pujol. Arnoldia, 5, 1-16. [PDF file]
  • Pinhey, E.C.G. (1970). Monographic study of the genus Trithemis Brauer (Odonata: Libellulidae). Memoirs Entomological Society Southern Africa, 11, 1-159. [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. [2024-05-29].