Trithemis kalula Kirby, 1900
Pretty Dropwing

Type locality: Freetown, Sierra Leone


Male is similar to T. bredoi by (a) ranging from N DRC to W Africa; (b) labrum often largely pale; (c) vertex and dorsum of frons dark purplish metallic; (d) venation largely pale, yellow to red, often contrasting with black veins of Pt; (e) Hw base yellow, orange or amber, colour usually surpasses Cux but excludes triangle; (f) Abd broader, S4 at most 2x as long as wide; (g) Abd largely pale, with some black markings, appears orange, red, or pruinose violet with maturity; (h) anterior lamina pointed, often with plume of long hairs; (i) hamule with long, sickle-shaped hook; (j) at least S8 with broad black marking and S9 largely black. However, differs by (1) Pt brown to black, rather than yellow to pale brown, thus contrast with anterior black vein usually weak; (2) usually 11½-13½ Ax in Fw; (3) anterior lamina and hamule largely blackish rather than pale; (4) S4-8 at least partly with black laterally; (5) dorsum S8 (largely) pale rather than broadly black. [Adapted from Dijkstra & Clausnitzer 2014]

Habitat description

Rivers in open landscapes and open areas in forest. Often with emergent vegetation. From 0 to 1500 m above sea level.


confirmed: Burkina Faso; Côte d'Ivoire; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Guinee-Bissau; Liberia; Mali; Nigeria; Republic of Guinea; Sierra Leone; NOT confirmed: Benin; Ghana; Togo

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):

Male; Liberia, Nimba County, Yekepa © Dijkstra, K.-D.B.

Female; Liberia, Nimba County, Yekepa © Dijkstra, K.-D.B.

Female; Liberia, Nimba County, Yekepa © Dijkstra, K.-D.B.

Male; Liberia, Nimba County, Yekepa © Dijkstra, K.-D.B.

Male; Liberia, Nimba County, East Nimba Nature Reserve © Dijkstra, K.-D.B. & M. Darpay


  • Kirby, W.F. (1900). Report on the Neuroptera Odonata collected by Mr E. E. Austen at Sierra Leone during August and September 1899. Annals Magazine Natural History, 6, 67-79. [PDF file]
  • Schmidt, E. (1951). Libellen aus Portugiesisch Guinea, mit Bemerkungen über andere aethiopische Odonaten. Arquivos Museu Bocage, 20, 125-200. [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. [2024-07-13].