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SOUTHERN AFRICAN DRAGONFLIES AND DAMSELFLIES

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The checklist below on the left lists the 164 Odonata species currently known to occur in South Africa. On the right are listed another 78 species recorded further north in southern Africa but not (yet) in South Africa.

In all, 11 families of Odonata are represented in the region, seven damselflies (Zygoptera) and four dragonflies (Anisoptera) and these are arranged in these lists in taxonomic order, damselflies first. Within each family the species are listed in alphabetic order, scientific name first, with feint lines dividing the genera and bolder lines dividing the families.

The species that have been photographed are highlighted, and to see the images of these, click on the species' name. The photographs are intended to supplement the illustrations and text to be found in our “Fieldguide to the dragonflies of South Africa” and “Fieldguide to the damselflies of South Africa”, and to our “Quick-guide to South African dragonflies”.

For PDF checklist of South African dragonflies click here *

For details of our new book, "A Guide to the Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa" click here *

For details of our dragonfly Quickguide click here


   SOUTH AFRICAN CHECKLIST
   SPECIES IN REST OF SOUTHERN AFRICA
Family SYNLESTIDAE Malachites Family SYNLESTIDAE Malachites
Chlorolestes apricans AMATOLA MALACHITE
Chlorolestes conspicuus CONSPICUOUS MALACHITE
Chlorolestes draconicus DRAKENSBERG MALACHITE
Chlorolestes elegans ELEGANT MALACHITE
Chlorolestes fasciatus MOUNTAIN MALACHITE
Chlorolestes tessellatus FOREST MALACHITE
Chlorolestes umbratus WHITE MALACHITE
Ecchlorolestes nylephtha QUEEN MALACHITE
Ecchlorolestes peringueyi ROCK MALACHITE
 
Family LESTIDAE Spreadwings Family LESTIDAE Spreadwings
Lestes dissimulans CRYPTIC SPREADWING
Lestes ictericus TAWNY SPREADWING
Lestes pallidus PALLID SPREADWING
Lestes plagiatus HIGHLAND SPREADWING
Lestes tridens SPOTTED SPREADWING
Lestes uncifer SICKLE SPREADWING
Lestes virgatus SMOKY SPREADWING
Lestes amicus YELLOW-WINGED SPREADWING (Moz, Zim)
Lestes ochraceus OCHRE SPREADWING (Mozambique)
Lestes pinheyi PINHEY’S SPREADWING (Okavango)
Family CALOPTERYGIDAE Demoiselles Family CALOPTERYGIDAE Demoiselles
Phaon iridipennis GLISTENING DEMOISELLE Umma electa METALLIC SPARKLEWING (S Angola)
Family CHLOROCYPHIDAE Jewels Family CHLOROCYPHIDAE Jewels
Chlorocypha consueta RUBY JEWEL Chlorocypha crocea ANGOLA JEWEL (S Angola)
Platycypha caligata DANCING JEWEL
Platycypha fitzsimonsi BOULDER JEWEL
Platycypha inyangae INYANGA JEWEL
Family PLATYCNEMIDIDAE Stream-Damsels Family PLATYCNEMIDIDAE Stream-Damsels
Allocnemis leucosticta GOLDTAIL Allocnemis marshalli BLUE YELLOWWING (Mozambique, Zimbabwe)
Mesocnemis singularis SAVANNA RIVERJACK
 
Metacnemis valida BLUE RIVERJACK *
 
Spesbona angusta SPESBONA  
Family PROTONEURIDAE Pinflies Family PROTONEURIDAE Pinflies
Elattoneura frenulata SOOTY THREADTAIL
Elattoneura glauca COMMON THREADTAIL
Elattoneura cellularis TROPICAL THREADTAIL (Caprivi, Moz, Zim)
Elattoneura tarbotonorum STOUT THREADTAIL
Family COENAGRIONIDAE Sprites
Family COENAGRIONIDAE Sprites
Aciagrion dondoense OPAL SLIM
Aciagrion gracile GRACEFUL SLIM (Zim, Mozambique)
Aciagrion africanum BLUE SLIM (Zimbabwe, Mozambique)
Aciagrion heterostictum LONG SLIM (Caprivi)
Aciagrion steeleae SWAMP SLIM (Caprivi)
Africallagma fractum SLENDER BLUET
Africallagma glaucum SWAMP BLUET
Africallagma sapphirinum SAPPHIRE BLUET
Africallagma sinuatum PEAK BLUET
Africallagma cuneistigma CHIMANIMANI BLUET (Zimbabwe, Mozambique)
Africallagma subtile FRAGILE BLUET (Caprivi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique)
Agriocnemis exilis LITTLE WHISP
Agriocnemis falcifera WHITE-MASKED WHISP
Agriocnemis gratiosa GRACIOUS WHISP
Agriocnemis pinheyi PINHEY’S WHISP
Agriocnemis ruberrima ORANGE WHISP
Agriocnemis angolensis ANGOLAN WHISP (Caprivi, Okavango, S Angola)
Agriocnemis bumhilli BUMHILL WHISP (Caprivi)
Agriocnemis forcipata GREATER PINCERTAIL WHISP (Caprivi)
Agriocnemis victoria LESER PINCERTAIL WHISP (Okavango)
Azuragrion nigridorsum SAILING BLUET
Ceriagrion glabrum COMMON CITRIL
Ceriagrion suave SUAVE CITRIL
Ceriagrion corallinum GREEN-FRONTED CITRIL (Caprivi)
Ceriagrion katamborae WHITE-FACED CITRIL (Caprivi, Okavango, Zambezi)
Ceriagrion kordofanicum LITTLE ORANGECITRIL (Mozambique)
Ceriagrion mourae EAST COAST CITRIL (Mozambique)
Ceriagrion whellani YELLOW-FACED CITRIL (Zimbabwe)
Ischnura senegalensis TROPICAL BLUETAIL
Pinheyagrion angolicum PINHEY'S BLUET(S Angola)
Proischnura polychromatica MAUVE BLUET
Proischnura rotundipennis ROUND-WINGED BLUET
Proischnura subfurcata FORK-TAILED BLUET
Pseudagrion acaciae ACACIA SPRITE *
Pseudagrion assegaii ASSEGAI SPRITE
Pseudagrion caffrum SPRINGWATER SPRITE
Pseudagrion citricola YELLOW-FACED SPRITE
Pseudagrion coeleste coeleste CATSHEAD SPRITE *
Pseudagrion c. umsingaziense UMSINGAZI SPRITE
Pseudagrion commoniae BLACK SPRITE
Pseudagrion draconis MOUNTAIN SPRITE
Pseudagrion furcigerum PALMIET SPRITE
Pseudagrion gamblesi GREAT SPRITE
Pseudagrion hageni hageni HAGEN’S SPRITE
Pseudagrion hageni tropicanum PAINTED SPRITE
Pseudagrion hamoni SWARTHY SPRITE
Pseudagrion inopinatum BALINSKY'S SPRITE
Pseudagrion kersteni POWDER-FACED SPRITE
Pseudagrion makabusiense MAKABUSI SPRITE
Pseudagrion massaicum MASAI SPRITE
Pseudagrion newtoni HARLEQUIN SPRITE
Pseudagrion salisburyense SLATE SPRITE
Pseudagrion sjoestedti VARIABLE SPRITE
Pseudagrion spernatum UPLAND SPRITE
Pseudagrion sublacteum CHERRY-EYE SPRITE
Pseudagrion sudanicum BLUE-SIDED SPRITE
Pseudagrion vaalense VAAL SPRITE
Pseudagrion angolense ANGOLA SPRITE (S Angola)
Pseudagrion deningi DARK SPRITE (Okavango, Caprivi)
Pseudagrion fisheri DARK-TAILED SPRITE (Okavango, none recently)
Pseudagrion glaucescens BLUE-GREEN SPRITE (Caprivi, Zim, Moz)
Pseudagrion greeni CLASPER-TAILED SPRITE (S Angola)
Pseudagrion helenae LITTLE BLUE SPRITE (Okavango, none recently)
Pseudagrion inconspicuum LITTLE SPRITE (S Angola)
Pseudagrion lindicum EASTERN SPRITE (Mozambique)
Pseudagrion nubicum BLUETAIL SPRITE (Zimbabwe, Botswana)
Pseudagrion rufostigma RUBY SPRITE (Okavango, Caprivi, Zambezi)
Pseudagrion vumbaense VUMBA SPRITE (Zimbabwe)
Family GOMPHIDAE Clubtails Family GOMPHIDAE Clubtails
Ceratogomphus pictus COMMON THORNTAIL
Ceratogomphus triceraticus CAPE THORNTAIL
 
Crenigomphus cornutus HORNED TALONTAIL
Crenigomphus hartmanni HARTMANN’S TALONTAIL
Crenigomphus kavangoensis KAVANGO TALONTAIL (Caprivi)
Gomphidia quarrei SOUTHERN FINGERTAIL
Ictinogomphus ferox COMMON TIGERTAIL Ictinogomphus dundoensis SWAMP TIGERTAIL (Okavango, Caprivi)
Lestinogomphus angustus SPINED FAIRYTAIL Lestinogomphus silkeae SILKE’S FAIRYTAIL (Okavango)
Microgomphus nyassicus EASTERN SCISSORTAIL (Mozambique, Zimbabwe)
Neurogomphus zambeziensis ZAMBEZI SIPHONTAIL Neurogomphus cocytius KOKYTOS SIPHONTAIL (Caprivi, Okavango, Zim)
Notogomphus praetorius YELLOWJACK Notogomphus dendrohyrax EASTERN LONGLEG (Mozambique, Zimbabwe)
Notogomphus zernyi ZERNY'S LONGLEG (Zimbabwe)
Onychogomphus supinus LINED CLASPERTAIL
Paragomphus cognatus ROCK HOOKTAIL
Paragomphus elpidius CORKSCREW HOOKTAIL
Paragomphus genei COMMON HOOKTAIL *
Paragomphus magnus GREAT HOOKTAIL
Paragomphus sabicus FLAPPER HOOKTAIL
Paragomphus acuminatus CONGO HOOKTAIL (Mozambique, Zimbabwe)
Paragomphus cataractae CATARACT HOOKTAIL (Caprivi, Zambezi)
Paragomphus lacustris TANZANIA HOOKTAIL (Mozambique, Zimbabwe)
Paragomphus nyassicus MALAWI HOOKTAIL (Zimbabwe)
Paragomphus zambeziensis ZAMBEZI HOOKTAIL (Zambezi)
Phyllogomphus selysi BOLD LEAFTAIL
Family AESHNIDAE Hawkers, Emperors Family AESHNIDAE Hawkers, Emperors
Anaciaeschna triangulifera EVENING HAWKER
Anax ephippiger VAGRANT EMPEROR
Anax imperator BLUE EMPEROR *
Anax speratus ORANGE EMPEROR
Anax tristis BLACK EMPEROR
Anax bangweuluensis SWAMP EMPEROR (Okavango, Caprivi)
Anax chloromelas BLACK-AND-BLUE EMPEROR (Mozambique)
Gynacantha manderica LITTLE DUSKHAWKER
Gynacantha usambarica USAMBARA DUSKHAWKER
Gynacantha villosa BROWN DUSKHAWKER
Gynacantha vesiculata LESSER GIRDLED DUSKHAWKER (Mozambique)
Pinheyschna subpupillata SOUTHERN STREAMHAWKER Pinheyschna rileyi NORTHERN STREAMHAWKER (Zimbabwe)
Zosteraeschna minuscula FRIENDLY HAWKER Zosteraeschna usambarica FOREST HAWKER
 
Family SYNTHEMISTIDAE Presbas Family SYNTHEMISTIDAE Presbas
Syncordulia gracilis YELLOW PRESBA
Syncordulia legator GILDED PRESBA
Syncordulia serendipator RUSTIC PRESBA
Syncordulia venator CHESTNUT PRESBA
 
Family MACROMIIDAE Cruisers Family MACROMIIDAE Cruisers
Phyllomacromia contumax TWO-BANDED CRUISER
Phyllomacromia monoceros SABLE CRUISER
Phyllomacromia picta DARTING CRUISER
Phyllomacromia congolica WOODLAND CRUISER (Zimbabwe)
Phyllomacromia kimminsiCRESCENT-FACED CRUISER (Okavango, none recently)
Phyllomacromia overlaeti CLUBBED CRUISER (Caprivi, Zimbabwe)
Family CORDULIIDAE Emeralds Family CORDULIIDAE Emeralds
Hemicordulia africana AFRICAN EMERALD
Family LIBELLULIDAE Skimmers, etc Family LIBELLULIDAE Skimmers, etc
Acisoma inflatum STOUT PINTAIL
Acisoma variegatum SLENDER PINTAIL
Aethiothemis solitaria PEARLY FLASHER (Okavango, Caprivi)
Aethriamantra rezia PYGMY BASKER
Atoconeura biordinata SOUTHERN HIGHLANDER (Mozambique, Zimbabwe)
Brachythemis lacustris RED GROUNDLING
Brachythemis leucosticta BANDED GROUNDLING
Brachythemis wilsoni SWAMP GROUNDLING (Okavango)
Bradinopyga cornuta HORNED ROCKDWELLER
Chalcostephia flavifrons INSPECTOR
Crocothemis divisa ROCK SCARLET
Crocothemis erythraea BROAD SCARLET
Crocothemis sanguinolenta LITTLE SCARLET
Crocothemis saxicolor GRANITE SCARLET (Zimbabwe)
Diplacodes lefebvrii BLACK PERCHER
Diplacodes luminans BARBET PERCHER
Diplacodes pumila DWARF PERCHER
Diplacodes deminuta LITTLE PERCHER (Okavango) *
Eleuthemis buettikoferi FIREBELLY (Zimbabwe)
Hadrothemis scabifrons RUDDY JUNGLESKIMMER (Mozambique, Zimbabwe)
Hemistigma albipunctum AFRICAN PIEDSPOT
Macrodiplax cora COASTAL PENNANT
Nesciothemis farinosa EASTERN BLACKTAIL
Nesciothemis minor SMALL BLACKTAIL (Botswana, none recently)
Notiothemis jonesi EASTERN FORESTWATCHER
Olpogastra lugubris BOTTLETAIL
Orthetrum abbotti LITTLE SKIMMER
Orthetrum brachiale BANDED SKIMMER
Orthetrum caffrum TWO-STRIPED SKIMMER
Orthetrum chrysostigma EPAULET SKIMMER
Orthetrum guineense GUINEA SKIMMER
Orthetrum hintzi DARK-SHOULDERED SKIMMER
Orthetrum icteromelas SPECTACLED SKIMMER
Orthetrum julia capicola CAPE SKIMMER
Orthetrum julia falsum JULIA SKIMMER
Orthetrum machadoi HIGHLAND SKIMMER
Orthetrum monardi WOODLAND SKIMMER
Orthetrum robustum ROBUST SKIMMER
Orthetrum rubens ELUSIVE SKIMMER
Orthetrum stemmale BOLD SKIMMER

Orthetrum trinacria LONG SKIMMER
Palpopleura deceptor DECEPTIVE WIDOW
Palpopleura jucunda YELLOW-VEINED WIDOW
Palpopleura lucia LUCIA WIDOW
Palpopleura portia PORTIA WIDOW
 
Pantala flavescens PANTALA
Parazyxomma flavicans BANDED DUSKDARTER
  Porpax asperipes PRUINOSE PRICKLYLEG (Zimbabwe)
Porpax risi HIGHLAND PRICKLYLEG (Mozambique)
Rhyothemis semihyalina PHANTOM FLUTTERER Rhyothemis fenestrina SKYLIGHT FLUTTERER (Oka, Cap)
Rhyothemis mariposa BUTTERFLY FLUTTERER (S Angola)
Sympetrum fonscolombii NOMAD
Tetrathemis polleni BLACK-SPLASHED ELF
Tholymis tillarga TWISTER
Tramea basilaris KEYHOLE GLIDER
Tramea limbata FERRUGINOUS GLIDER
 
Trithemis aconita HALFSHADE DROPWING
Trithemis annulata VIOLET DROPWING
Trithemis arteriosa RED-VEINED DROPWING
Trithemis donaldsoni DENIM DROPWING
Trithemis dorsalis HIGHLAND DROPWING
Trithemis furva NAVY DROPWING
Trithemis hecate SILHOUETTE DROPWING *
Trithemis kirbyi ORANGE-WINGED DROPWING
Trithemis pluvialis RUSSET DROPWING
Trithemis stictica JAUNTY DROPWING
Trithemis werneri ELEGANT DROPWING
Trithemis aequalis SWAMP DROPWING (Okavango,Caprivi)
Trithemis bifida SHADOW DROPWING (Zimbabwe)
Trithemis brydeni PERCHER-LIKE DROPWING (Okavango, none recently)
Trithemis monardi SOUTHERN FLUTTERING DROPWING (Okavango, Caprivi)
Trithemis morrisoni RAPIDS DROPWING (Caprivi)
Trithemis palustris MARSH DROPWING (Okavango)
Trithetrum navasi FIERY DARTER (Okavango, Caprivi)
Urothemis assignata RED BASKER
Urothemis edwardsii BLUE BASKER
Urothemis luciana ST LUCIA BASKER
 
Zygonoides fuelleborni SOUTHERN RIVERKING
Zygonyx natalensis BLUE CASCADER
Zygonyx torridus RINGED CASCADER
 
Zyxomma atlanticum SMOKY DUSKDARTER
 
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