Notogomphus dorsalis (Selys, 1858)
Little Longleg


  • scientific: N. speciosus (Sjöstedt, 1909)

Type locality: Kilimanjaro, Tanzania


Male is similar to N. lujai by (a) labrum and postclypeus predominantly dark; (b) lower border of antefrons dark like postclypeus; (c) thorax at most with traces of dark inter- and metapleural stripes; (d) antehumeral stripe distinct and complete; (e) postdorsal stripes may be merged with pale area of middorsal carina or antehumeral stripe; (f) ventral teeth of cerci directed down- or inwards, only visible in dorsal view in latter case. However, differs by (1) ranging from N Tanzania to NE DRC and Ethiopia; (2) smaller size, Hw 23-28 mm; (3) postdorsal stripes and collar fused into single straightish band along middorsal carina; (4) Pt 2.5 mm or less; (5) cerci pointed rather than blunt, with ventral teeth directed somewhat outwards, often visible in dorsal view; (6) apices of epiproct square-cut rather than rounded or pointed. [Adapted from Dijkstra & Clausnitzer 2014; this diagnosis not yet verified by author]

Habitat description

Rivers and streams in open areas in forest or shaded by gallery forest. Often with coarse detritus and a gravelly, sandy and/or soft (like muddy) bottom. Inferred to occur from 600 to 2500 m above sea level.


confirmed: Democratic Republic of the Congo; Ethiopia; Kenya; Tanzania; Uganda; NOT confirmed: South Sudan

Appendages (dorsal view)

Appendages (lateral view)

Head (front)

Thorax (lateral view)

Thorax (dorsal view)

Vulvar scale (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.


  • Sélys-Longchamps, E., and Hagen, H.A. (1858). Monographie des Gomphines. Muquardt, Bruxelles & Leipzig, Roret Paris, 11, 257-720.
  • Fraser, F.C. (1949). Gomphidae from the Belgian Congo (order Odonata). Revue Zoologie Botanique Africaines, 42, 101-138. [PDF file]
  • Sjöstedt, Y. (1909). Wissenschaftliche Ergebnisse der schwedischen zoologischen Expedition nach dem Kilimandjaro, dem Meru und den umgebenden Massaisteppen Deutsch-Ostafrikas 1905-1906 unter Leitung von Prof. Dr. Yngve Sjöstedt. 14. Pseudoneuroptera. Odonata, 14, 1-52.

Citation: Dijkstra, K.-D.B (editor). African Dragonflies and Damselflies Online. [2024-05-25].