Trithemis tropicana Fraser, 1953
Eastern Mantled Dropwing


  • scientific: T. africana (Brauer, 1890) ssp. tropicana
  • vernacular: Eastern Phantom D.

Type locality: Eala, DRC


Male is similar to many Trithemis species with (a) hamule with long sickle-shaped hook; (b) genital lobe directed away from hamule; (c) Abd largely black, often with some pale markings, appears blue pruinose or black with maturity. However, set apart from the rest by (1) ranging from DRC to Nigeria; (2) 16½-19½ Ax in Fw; (3) 6-9 cell-rows between anal loop and tornus; (4) Hw base broadly brown (rather than with small brown patch), including triangle. Replaced by T. africana in western Africa (see for separation). [Adapted from Dijkstra & Clausnitzer 2014]

Habitat description

Streams in open areas in forest. Often with coarse detritus and a sandy and/or soft (like muddy) bottom, and probably especially calmer sections (like pools) with emergent vegetation and/or submerged roots. From 0 to 700 m above sea level, but possibly higher up.


confirmed: Cameroon; Congo-Brazzaville; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Gabon; Nigeria

Male © C?®dric Vanappelghem

Abdominal segment 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, Lower Aruwimi © Dijkstra, K.-D.B.

Male; Democratic Republic of Congo, Province Orientale,

Male; Gabon, Haut-Ogooué, Moupia © Dijkstra, K.-D.B., Nicolas Mézière & Cédric Vanappelghem


  • Fraser, F.C. (1953). New genera and species of Libellulines from the Belgian Congo. Revue Zoologie Botanique Africaines, 48, 242-256. [PDF file]
  • Pinhey, E.C.G. (1962). Some records of Odonata collected in tropical Africa. Journal Entomological Society Southern Africa, 25, 20-50. [PDF file]
  • Pinhey, E.C.G. (1966). Notes on African Odonata, particularly type material. Revue Zoologie Botanique Africaines, 73, 283-308. [PDF file]

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