Trithemis aequalis Lieftinck, 1969
Swamp Dropwing


  • scientific: T. falconis Pinhey, 1970
  • vernacular: Dark D.

Type locality: Ndoba, Zambia


Male is similar to T. nuptialis and T. grouti by (a) vertex and dorsum of frons metallic purple, sometimes purplish blue; (b) 10-12½ Ax in Fw [8½-14½]; (c) Hw clear, evenly stained, or amber at base; (d) anterior lamina anteriorly clothed rather evenly with hair, without distinct apical tuft; hook of hamule with generally finer tip; (e) genital lobe slender, narrower than hamule; (f) S4-7 with single or no row of streaks, although T. aequalis has indistinct second row. However, differs by (1) ranging from N Botswana to NE Zambia; (2) pruinosity of thorax in life dull blue to brownish; (3) Hw base with distinct amber patch, which extends onto anal field and nears Cux; (4) Abd slender, S4 about 5x as long as wide (best seen in ventral view); (5) S4-7 often with indistinct second row of pale streaks along lateral carinae. [Adapted from Dijkstra & Clausnitzer 2014; this diagnosis not yet verified by author]

Habitat description

Mostly (often temporary) flowing channels in marshes, but also rivers, in open landscapes, but sometimes shaded by gallery forest. Often with emergent and aquatic vegetation, coarse detritus and a soft (like muddy) bottom. From 900 to 1200 m above sea level.


confirmed: Botswana; Namibia; Zambia

Male © Jens Kipping

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.


  • Lieftinck, M.A. (1969) Odonates Anisoptères - Odonata Anisoptera. Explor. hydrob. Lac Bangweolo & Luapula 14 (4): 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. [2024-07-25].