Trithemis pruinata Karsch, 1899
Cobalt Dropwing

Type locality: Togo, no locality data available.


Male is similar to T. furva by (a) dorsum of frons metallic purple, or glossy black; (b) with maturity, thorax and Abd uniformly pruinose dark blue to black; (c) 10-12½ Ax in Fw [8½-14½]; (d) Hw base clear or at most with some amber that extends from base about halfway to Cux; (e) anterior lamina with bulbous anterior profile and without knobs; (f) apex of anterior lamina with clump of bristles which are short, thick and outstanding; (g) hook of hamule with rather thick tip; (h) genital lobe slender, narrower than hamule; (i) Abd broad, S4 always under 3x as long as wide (best seen in ventral view). However, differs by (1) pruinosity of thorax and Abd in life dark blue to black; (2) Pt less swollen, quite uniformly dark; (3) hook of hamule only half as long as hamule is wide. [Adapted from Dijkstra & Clausnitzer 2014; this diagnosis not yet verified by author]

Habitat description

Streams in open areas in forest or shaded by gallery forest. Often with emergent vegetation. From 0 to 1500 m above sea level.


confirmed: Angola; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Congo-Brazzaville; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Gabon; Ghana; Kenya; Nigeria; Republic of Guinea; Senegal; Tanzania; Togo; Uganda; Zambia; NOT confirmed: Côte d'Ivoire

Male © KD Dijkstra

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.

Barcode specimen(s):

Copula; Tanzania, Kigoma Region, Lower Malagarasi Basin © Dijkstra, K.-D.B.

Adult, male; Angola, Uige Province, new campus site and environs © Clausnitzer, V. & Dijkstra, K.-D.B.

Adult, male; Angola, Uige Province, new campus site and environs © Clausnitzer, V. & Dijkstra, K.-D.B.

Adult, male; Angola, Uige Province, new campus site and environs © Dijkstra, K.-D.B.


  • Karsch, F. (1899). Neue Odonaten aus Ost- und Süd-Afrika mit Einschluss des Seengebietes. Entomologische Nachrichten, 25, 369-382. [PDF file]
  • Longfield, C. (1936). Studies on African Odonata, with synonymy and descriptions of new species and subspecies. Transactions Royal Entomological Society London, 85, 467-498. [PDF file]
  • Pinhey, E.C.G. (1961). Dragonflies (Odonata) of Central Africa. Occasional Papers Rhodes-Livingstone Museum, 14, 1-97. [PDF file]
  • Pinhey, E.C.G. (1962). Some records of Odonata collected in tropical Africa. Journal Entomological Society Southern Africa, 25, 20-50. [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].