Trithemis kirbyi Selys, 1891
Orange-winged Dropwing

Type locality: India, no locality data available.


Male is similar to T. werneri by (a) labrum often largely pale; (b) venation largely pale, yellow to red, often contrasting with black veins of Pt; (d) Hw base yellow, orange or amber, colour usually surpasses Cux; (e) hamule with long, sickle-shaped hook; (f) Abd largely pale, with some black markings, appears orange, red, or pruinose violet with maturity. However, differs by (1) occurring anywhere at pools, often those along streams and rivers; (2) Pt about 2 mm; (3) orange at base of all wings extensive, extends well beyond triangles in Hw and usually Fw; (4) hook of hamule broad; (5) S4-8 all pale, S9 at most with dorsal black band. [Adapted from Dijkstra & Clausnitzer 2014; this diagnosis not yet verified by author]

Habitat description

Standing and often temporary waters, rivers, streams and possibly large lakes in open landscapes, but sometimes in open areas in forest. Often with bare banks, rocks and a hard (rocky) and/or soft (muddy) bottom, probably especially pools in stream beds. From 0 to 2600 m above sea level, but mostly below 1700.


confirmed: Algeria; Angola; Benin; Botswana; Burkina Faso; Cameroon; Chad; Congo-Brazzaville; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Egypt; Eritrea; Ethiopia; Gambia; Ghana; Guinee-Bissau; Kenya; Liberia; Libya; Malawi; Mali; Mauritania; Morocco; Mozambique; Namibia; Nigeria; Republic of South Africa; Senegal; Somalia; Sudan; Swaziland; Tanzania; Togo; Tunisia; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe; NOT confirmed: Côte d'Ivoire

Male © Jean-Pierre Boudot

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):

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

Adult, male; Angola, Uige Province, road from Uige to new campus © Dijkstra, K.-D.B.

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

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


  • de Sélys-Longchamps, E. (1891). Viaggio di Leonardo Fea in Birmania e regioni vicine XXXII. Odonates. Odonates, dans le viaggio di Leonardo Fea in Birmania e regioni vicini. Annali Museo Civico Storia Naturale Genova, 30, 433-518.
  • Pinhey, E.C.G. (1966). Check-list of dragonflies (Odonata) from Malawi, with description of a new Teinobasis Kirby. Arnoldia, 2, 1-24. [PDF file]
  • Pinhey, E.C.G. (1966). Notes on African Odonata, particularly type material. Revue Zoologie Botanique Africaines, 73, 283-308. [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].