Large, elongated, all deep pruinescent blue. Pools and marshes throughout much of SA.
Throughout much of SA, including Cape Peninsula. To Mediterranean.
Face: mostly light bluish grey. Labium dull yellow with indistinct central brown patch, not reaching anterior margin. Labrum dull yellow. Anteclypeus, postclypeus and frons light bluish grey, spectacled with a fine ridge and a black median line. Frons blackish adjacent to eyes. Vertex dimpled, shiny dark brown, with sharp peaks. Eyes: turquoise, with a noticeably yellow occiput. Synthorax: brown all over, with sutures finely outlined in black, and sharply-defined narrow, dark brown shoulder stripes. Thorax becomes obscured with a deep blue pruinescence, although the dark shoulder stripes, as well as a mid- dorsalline,remain. Prothoraxandanteriorofsynthorax with long, white, downy setae. Area between wings pruinescent blue. Wings: very clear. Pterostigmas: very long (4.3-4.4 mm) and narrow, very pale yellowish brown. Abdomen: very long and slender, blackish above with longitudinal light brown dashes, becoming increasingly bluish, then greyish with age. S3 always heavily pruinescent. Female: light greenish yellow with strong, dark brown mid-dorsal stripe, and narrow, dark brown shoulder stripes. Sides of thorax hardly marked, with only a darkening of sutures. Abdomen long and narrow, tessellated dark brown and yellow. No foliations.
This large, dark Orthetrum with its long, slender abdomen and long, pale pterostigmas is easily recog- nisable in the field. It is the only strong flying, but frequently perching, vir- tually all dark blue dragonfly of pool margins in SA. In the field, it appears like a large Trithemis hecate which occurs in the same habitat in warm areas. It is much larger and a much stronger flier than the pool-inhabiting T. dorsalis.
Shallow pans, pools and grassy margins of lakes and dams. In the Cedarberg it patrols grassy margins of streams.
Habitat and Ecology
Life History and Behavior
A strong flier at water margins and over marshy areas, frequently perching on reeds or stems, usually over water. Often preys on large insects, including other dragonflies and butterflies.
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Orthetrum trinacria
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 5
Species With Barcodes: 1
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
- 2006Least Concern
Orthetrum trinacria, the Long Skimmer, is a species of dragonfly in family Libellulidae. It is found in Algeria, Angola, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Ethiopia, France (Corsica), Gambia, Ghana, Italy (Sicily and Sardinia), Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and possibly Burundi. It was recently recorded in the Maltese Islands in 2003 and was recorded breeding on the island of Gozo in 2004. Its natural habitats are rivers, shrub-dominated wetlands, swamps, freshwater lakes, intermittent freshwater lakes, freshwater marshes, and intermittent freshwater marshes.
- Clausnitzer, V. 2005. Orthetrum trinacria. Downloaded on 10 August 2007.
- Sciberras, A.; Sciberras, J. and Magro D. (2007) "A Celebration of Dragonflies". The Malta Independent. November 19, pp. 8–9.
- Sciberras, A. (2008) A Contribution To The Knowledge Of Odonata In The Maltese Islands. The Central Mediterranean Naturalist 4(4): pp. 275–288.
- Orthetrum trinacria : 2012 : a new species on the island of Corsica (French)
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