Tetrathemis camerunensis (Sjöstedt, 1900)
Forest Elf


  • scientific: T. bifida Fraser, 1941; T. sulci Pinhey, 1962

Type locality: Cameroon, no locality data available.


Most common and widespread rainforest (from W Kenya to W Africa) Tetrathemis species, male with typical features as (a) interpleural stripe runs from wing base to metastigma, parallel to metapleural and humeral stripes, sometimes partly fused with humeral; (b) never pruinose and wings always clear, although base may be yellow; (c) arculus usually at or distal to Ax2; (d) Hw supratriangles with 1 cross-vein; (e) bridge spaces with 1 cross-vein. However, distinct by (1) lateral pale spot on S1 (almost) confined to that segment, not expanding to S2; (2) cerci about 5-6x as long as S10, parallel with out-curved apices (dorsal view). [Adapted from Dijkstra & Clausnitzer 2014]

Habitat description

Standing and mostly temporary waters, but possibly also rivers and streams, shaded by forest, but sometimes also in open areas in forest. Often pools in stream beds, usually with overhanging branches and coarse detritus, and often a soft (like muddy) bottom. From 0 to 1500 m above sea level, but mostly below 700.


confirmed: Benin; Côte d'Ivoire; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Congo-Brazzaville; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Gabon; Gambia; Ghana; Liberia; Nigeria; Republic of Guinea; Rwanda; Sierra Leone; Togo; Uganda; NOT confirmed: Guinee-Bissau; Senegal

Male © Nicolas Meziere

Appendages (dorsal view)

Appendages (lateral view)

Abdominal segments 1-2 (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 Equateur, Lower Itimbiri © Dijkstra, K.-D.B.

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

Male; Gabon, Haut-Ogooué, "Africa No1" (= Station de radiodiffusion de Moyabi) © Dijkstra, K.-D.B., Nicolas Mézière & Cédric Vanappelghem

Female; Liberia, Nimba County, Makento-Vanyapa Road © Dijkstra, K.-D.B.

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


  • Sjöstedt, Y. (1899). Bihang Kongliga Svenka Vetenskaps Akademiens Handlingar, 25, 1-62.
  • Schouteden, H. (1934). Annales Musee Congo belge Zoologie 3 Section 2, 3, 1-84. [PDF file]
  • Fraser, F.C. (1954). Further notes and descriptions of new species of Libellulidae from tropical Africa. Revue Zoologie Botanique Africaines, 50, 252-268. [PDF file]
  • Pinhey, E.C.G. (1971). Odonata collected in Republique Centre-Africaine by R. Pujol. Arnoldia, 5, 1-16. [PDF file]
  • Fraser, F.C. (1941). Notes on the genus Tetrathemis Brauer with descriptions of three new African species (Odonata). Proceedings Royal Entomological Society London, 10, 137-142. [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. http://addo.adu.org.za/ [2024-06-20].