Sapho ciliata (Fabricius, 1781)
Western Bluewing

Type locality: Coromandel, Sierra Leone


No full diagnosis of this species is presently available, although the mature male is the only damselfly with (almost) completely dark wings occurring from western Nigeria to Senegal.

Habitat description

Rivers and streams in open areas in forest, but sometimes shaded. Usually with coarse detritus, often a gravelly, sandy and/or soft (like muddy) bottom, and probably overhanging branches and/or submerged roots. From 0 to 700 m above sea level, but mostly below 600, although possibly even higher up.


confirmed: Côte d'Ivoire; Ghana; Liberia; Nigeria; Republic of Guinea; Sierra Leone; Togo; NOT confirmed: Benin

© Piotr Naskrecki

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; Liberia, Nimba County, Grassfield-Zotarpa Road © Dijkstra, K.-D.B.

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

Male; Liberia, Nimba County, West Nimba Proposed Forest Reserve © Dijkstra, K.-D.B. & M. Darpay


  • Fabricius, J.C. (1781). Species insectorum exhibentes eorum differentiae specificas, synonyma, auctorum, loca natalia, metamorphosin adiectis observationibus, descriptionibus C. E. Bohnii, Hamburgi et Kilonii 1, 1-552.
  • Fraser, F.C. (1947). The Odonata of the Ivory Coast based on the mission of Dr. R. Paulin and P. Lepesmee. Transactions Royal Entomological Society London, 98, 19-39. [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.
  • Pinhey, E.C.G. (1962). Some records of Odonata collected in tropical Africa. Journal Entomological Society Southern Africa, 25, 20-50. [PDF file]
  • Kirby, W.F. (1900). Report on the Neuroptera Odonata collected by Mr E. E. Austen at Sierra Leone during August and September 1899. Annals Magazine Natural History, 6, 67-79. [PDF file]

Citation: Dijkstra, K.-D.B (editor). African Dragonflies and Damselflies Online. [2024-06-23].