Trithemis ellenbeckii Förster, 1906
Ethiopian Dropwing

Type locality: Südschoa [= south Shoa], Ethiopia


Male is similar to T. dorsalis by (a) dorsum of frons metallic purple; (b) pruinosity of thorax and Abd in life dark blue; (c) 10-12½ Ax in Fw [8½-14½]; (d) Hw base with distinct amber patch, which extends onto anal field and/or at least halfway to Cux; (e) apex of anterior lamina with group of long, often coagulated, hairs; hook of hamule with rather thick tip; (f) genital lobe slender, narrower than hamule; (g) Abd broad, S4 always under 3x as long as wide (best seen in ventral view). However, differs by (1) being restricted to Ethiopia; (2) distal Ax in Fw usually incomplete; (3) Hw patch consists of rays concentrated in subcostal and cubital space, which extend about to Ax1 and (beyond) Cux; (4) fore femur all black rather than with pale streak; (5) if not covered by pruinosity: dorsum S4-6 not black. [Adapted from Dijkstra & Clausnitzer 2014; this diagnosis not yet verified by author]

Habitat description

Streams in open landscapes. Often with emergent vegetation and rocks. From 1100 to 2900 m above sea level.


confirmed: Eritrea; Ethiopia

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.


  • Förster, F. (1906). Forschungsreise durch Sudschoa, Galla und die Somalildnder von Carlo Freiherr von Erlanger. Liebellen. Jahrbuecher Nassauischen Vereins Naturkunde, 59, 301-344.
  • Pinhey, E.C.G. (1961). Dragonflies (Odonata) of Central Africa. Occasional Papers Rhodes-Livingstone Museum, 14, 1-97. [PDF file]
  • Clausnitzer, V., and Dijkstra, K.-D.B. (2005). The dragonflies (Odonata) of Ethiopia, with notes on the status of endemic taxa and the description of a new species. Entomologische Zeitschrift, 115, 117-130. [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. [2018-10-17].