Trithemis donaldsoni (Calvert, 1899)
Denim Dropwing

Type locality: Erer River, Ethiopia


Male is similar to T. dejouxi by (a) 10½-12½ Ax in Fw, only rarely 13½; (b) Hw base at most with small brown patch, excluding triangle; (c) 3-4 rows between anal loop and tornus; (d) anterior lamina with tapering sides, apex pointed with narrow notch, peaks pale and often knob-like; (e) hamule like sickle; (f) genital lobe directed away from hamule. However, differs by (1) ranging from Ethiopia to South Africa; (2) wings all clear, including base, rather than washed yellow; (3) venter of Abd with pale spots, rather than all black. [Adapted from Dijkstra & Clausnitzer 2014]

Habitat description

Rivers in open landscapes. Especially faster sections (rapids, falls), usually with rocks. From 0 to 1700 m above sea level, but mostly between 200 and 1600.


confirmed: Angola; Botswana; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Ethiopia; Kenya; Malawi; Mozambique; Namibia; Republic of South Africa; Rwanda; Tanzania; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe; NOT confirmed: Eritrea; Somalia

Male © Jens Kipping

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):

Adult, male; Zimbabwe, Manicaland, © Dijkstra, K.-D.B.


  • Calvert, P.P. (1899). Neuropterous insects collected by Dr. A. Donaldson Smith in Northeastern Africa. Ecological Entomology, 51, 228-244. [PDF file]
  • Pinhey, E.C.G. (1961). Dragonflies (Odonata) of Central Africa. Occasional Papers Rhodes-Livingstone Museum, 14, 1-97. [PDF file]
  • Longfield, C. (1959). The Odonata of N. Angola. Part II. Publicacoes culturais Companhia Diamantes Angola, 45, 13-42. [PDF file]
  • Schouteden, H. (1934). Annales Musee Congo belge Zoologie 3 Section 2, 3, 1-84. [PDF file]
  • Lieftinck, M.A. (1969). Odonates Anisoptères - Odonata Anisoptera. Explor. hydrob. Lac Bangweolo and Luapula, 14, 1-64. [PDF file]
  • 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. [2024-07-19].