LOCATION CAPTURED: GROENLAND GAME LODGE, Tolwe, Limpopo Province, SOUTH AFRICA
Red-veined Dropwing – TRITHEMISM ARTERIOSA
Identification: Medium-sized (wingspan 58mm), slender, with distinguishing black lateral marks at tip of thin abdomen. Adult males red-bodied with red leading wing veins; immature males and females yellow or dull orange. Nymphs are oval (body length 20mm) with dark brown mottling, spines on top of abdomen and no body hair.
Biology: Settles with wings downwards and forwards on reeds and grasses from which short forays are made for food or, in the case of males, to pursue intruders.
Habitat: Numerous in a wide variety of vegetation types in most aquatic habitats, including brackish pans in arid regions. One of the most common dragonflies in the region, with a very wide range that includes all of Africa and the Mediterranean.
Related species: The other 10 species in the genus are red- or yellow-bodied, males developing a dull blue or violet bloom (rarely light blue). Red Crocothemis are similar, but have a thicker abdomen without black side markings at the tip.