Lestes dissimulans Fraser, 1955
Cryptic Spreadwing

Type locality: Dakwa, DRC


Males of this species are nearest L. tridens in general appearance but structurally nearer L. pallidus with the combination of (a) thorax being uniformly pale to dark, marked black, or dark markings irregular with at most slight bronze sheen; (b) inner border of cerci at least with prominent basal tooth; (c) tips of cerci points towards eachother, like a pair of pliers or forceps (in dorsal view); (d) paraprocts without apical process. However, differs by (1) Pt is shorter (1.2-1.5 mm); (2) basal tooth on inner border of cerci blunt, rather than sharp; (3) paraprocts extend beyond its tip; (4) paraprocts triangular, rather than constricted; (5) apical knob absent. [Adapted from Dijkstra & Clausnitzer 2014]

Habitat description

Standing and mostly temporary waters in open landscapes, open areas in forest or shaded by gallery forest. Usually with emergent and often aquatic vegetation. From 0 to 1800 m above sea level, but mostly below 1400.


confirmed: Angola; Benin; Botswana; Côte d'Ivoire; Chad; Congo-Brazzaville; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Gabon; Gambia; Ghana; Kenya; Liberia; Malawi; Mozambique; Namibia; Nigeria; Republic of South Africa; Senegal; Tanzania; Togo; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe; NOT confirmed: Sierra Leone

Male © Nicolas Meziere

Appendages (dorsal view)

Appendages (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; Democratic Republic of Congo, Katanga, © Dijkstra, K.-D.B.

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

Male; Democratic Republic of Congo, Province Orientale, Lower Lomami © Dijkstra, K.-D.B.

Male; Liberia, Grand Gedeh County, Putu Iron Ore Mining concession © Dijkstra, K.-D.B. & A. Dayeker


  • Fraser , F. C. (1955). New species and new additions to the Odonata of the Belgian Congo. Revue de Zoologie et de otanique Africaines 51, 17-54. [PDF file]
  • Pinhey , E. (1980). A revision of African Lestidae (Odonata). Occasional Papers of the National Museums & Monuments of Rhodesia. Natural Sciences, 6, 1-479. [PDF file]
  • Pinhey, E.C.G. (1962). New or little-known dragonflies (Odonata) of Central and Southern Africa. Occasional Papers National Museum Southern Rhodesia, 26, 892-911. [PDF file]

Citation: Dijkstra, K.-D.B (editor). African Dragonflies and Damselflies Online. http://addo.adu.org.za/ [2024-06-17].