Anax parthenope Selys, 1839
Lesser Emperor

Type locality: Naples, Italy


Male is similar to A. imperator by (a) moderate size, Hw 44-49 mm; (b) dorsum of frons with blue to black anterior bar, basal mark narrower than vertex; (c) femora brown to black, rather like tibiae; (d) S4-10 largely blue or brown, with black dorsal and lateral markings (blue is green when teneral); (e) epiproct broad with truncate or widely notched apex, teeth usually only at apex. However, differs by (1) in Africa confined to dry regions of north-east; (2) entire thorax brown; (3) membranule pale grey, almost without white;  (4) S2-10 blue up to base of S3, rest brown;  (5) apex of cerci truncate, outer corners with small spine; (6) epiproct shorter than wide (ventral view). [Adapted from Dijkstra & Clausnitzer 2014]

Habitat description

Mostly standing and often temporary waters, but also rivers, in open landscapes. Often with emergent vegetation. From 0 to 2300 m above sea level, but mostly below 400.


confirmed: Algeria; Chad; Egypt; Libya; Mauritania; Morocco; Somalia; Sudan; Tunisia; Western Sahara

Male © Fons Peels

Male & female © Fons Peels

Appendages (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.


  • de Sélys-Longchamps, E. (1839). Descriptions de deux nouvelles espèces d'Aeschna du sous-genre Anax (Leach.). Bulletin Academie royale Belgique Serie 1, 6, 386-393.
  • Longfield, C. (1931). A list of the Odonata of British Somaliland and a description of a new species of the genus Enallagma. Entomologist, 64, 274-278. [PDF file]

Citation: Dijkstra, K.-D.B (editor). African Dragonflies and Damselflies Online. [2024-07-25].