Genus Afroaeschna Peters & Theischinger, 2011
shadow hawkers


  • scientific: formerly placed in genus Aeshna Fabricius, 1775

Type species: Aeshna scotias Pinhey, 1952


The only species of its genus, A. scotias is large (hindwing 49-55 mm) and black-brown, with green face, thorax stripes and small abdomen spots. Males patrol locally low over rainforest streams covered by dense vegetation, from Uganda and western Tanzania to northern Angola, northern Zambia and Bioko. [Adapted from Dijkstra & Clausnitzer 2014]


Male of genus is similar to Zosteraeschna by (a) frons about ½ as wide as head; (b) vertex all dark and black mark on frons thick without pale encircling; (c) labium brown, eyes and face greenish; (d) R3 gradually curved backward near distal end of Pt; (e) IR2 extends at most halfway under Pt; (f) Hw cubital field always of 2 rows at base; (g) anal triangle almost reaches tornus; membranule large, bordering anal triangle for less than ½ its length; (h) genital lobe short and rounded, usually with denticles; (i) tips of cerci flat or rounded, not down-curved points; (j) epiproct less than ½ as long as cerci. However, differs by (1) larger size, Hw 49-55 mm; (2) membranule rather evenly pale grey, rather than blackish with white base; (3) anal triangle of 2 cells, rather than with 3; (4) dorsum of S10 with strong tooth; (5) apex of cerci thickened, rounded, with large denticles on dorsum, rather than being flat, pointed and without denticles. [Adapted from Dijkstra & Clausnitzer 2014]

Afroaeschna scotias (Pinhey, 1952). Female © Jens Kipping

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.


  • Dijkstra, K.-D.B, and Clausnitzer, V. (2014). The Dragonflies and Damselflies of Eastern Africa: handbook for all Odonata from Sudan to Zimbabwe. Studies in Afrotropical Zoology, 298, 1-264.

Citation: Dijkstra, K.-D.B (editor). African Dragonflies and Damselflies Online. [2024-06-21].