Trithemis bifida Pinhey, 1970
Shadow Dropwing

Type locality: Mwinilunga, Zambia


Male is similar to T. donaldsoni and T. dejouxi by (a) dorsum of frons metallic blue or purple, occasionally pale, bronze or black; (b) Fw discoidal field of 3-4 rows; 3-4 rows between anal loop and tornus; all wings with 2-8 celldoublings in radial planate [0-8]; (c) arculus between Ax1-2, at most at Ax2 in Hw; (d) Hw base at most with small brown patch, excluding triangle; (e) hamule with long sickle-shaped hook; genital lobe directed away from hamule. However, differs by (1) being widespread, at sheltered streams; (2) 13½-16½ Ax in Fw [12½-16½]; (3) anterior lamina parallel-sided, apex broad with wide notch, peaks dark and rounded (caudo-ventral view); (4) hamule very slender, like sabre. [Adapted from Dijkstra & Clausnitzer 2014; this diagnosis not yet verified by author]

Habitat description

Streams in open areas in forest, but sometimes also shaded by gallery forest. Often with a sandy bottom, and probably especially calmer sections (like pools) with emergent vegetation, overhanging branches, submerged roots and/or coarse detritus. From 100 to 1600 m above sea level.


confirmed: Democratic Republic of the Congo; Gabon; Ghana; Kenya; Senegal; Tanzania; Zambia; NOT confirmed: Zimbabwe

© Viola Clausnitzer

Abdominal segment 2 (lateral view)

Abdominal segment 2 (ventral 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, Katanga, Kundelungu National Park © Dijkstra, K.-D.B.

Male; Democratic Republic of Congo, Katanga, Kundelungu National Park © Dijkstra, K.-D.B.

Adult, female; Gabon, Haut-Ogoué, route Franceville-Okondja, 2 km avant Okila © Mézière, Nicolas


  • Pinhey, E.C.G. (1970). Monographic study of the genus Trithemis Brauer (Odonata: Libellulidae). Memoirs Entomological Society Southern Africa, 11, 1-159. [PDF file]

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