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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Red-veined Dropwing

Afrikaans name: Rooinerfie

Red-veined Dropwing

Red-veined Dropwing dragonfly

Photo © Steven Herbert

Trithemis arteriosa

The male Red-veined Dropwing dragonfly is a really attractive insect. Its body is bright red, and it has red veins in its transparent wings. The base of the wing is orange. Even their faces are red. The female is drab in comparison. She has a yellowish-brown body with some individuals showing a hint of orange. She has some black markings on her body. Both sexes have a black tip to their abdomens.

The Red-veined Dropwing is normally found in areas with some source of water. It can be found in semi-arid areas as long as there is some surface water available. The males tend to perch low down on a reed, or other bit of waterside vegetation, about 50 cm above the water. They are not found in the very arid regions along the west coast of South Africa. Besides being common in South Africa they are also common all the way up to the Mediterranean region and parts of Asia.

Although they may be seen all year round, they are most common between September and May. Red-veined Dropwings feed off small insects which they catch in flight.

The name "dropwing" comes from their habit of sitting with their wings facing forwards and lowered.

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References and further reading

A Guide to the Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa - Author: Warwick and Michele Tarboton - Year Published: 2015 - Page: 188

Pocket Guide - Insects of South Africa - Author: Mike Picker & Charles Griffiths - Year Published: 2015 - Page: 19

Sasol First Field Guide to Dragonflies of Southern Africa - Author: Warren and Vienessa Goodwin - Year Published: - Page: 47

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