Orthetrum robustum Balinsky, 1965
Robust Skimmer

Type locality: Natal, South Africa


Male is similar to O. macrostigma and O. latihami by (a) thorax without whitish stripes; (b) 2 cell-rows in radial planate, sum of cell-doublings in all wings 11-29, rarely down to only 4; (c) Pt over 3 mm and 10% of Hw length; (d) anterior lamina does not reach over hook of hamule, with notched apex; (e) lobe of hamule prominent, space between it and hook usually gaping cleft. However, differs by (1) ranging from Katanga to Botswana and NE South Africa; (2) larger size, Hw 32-38 mm; (3) black markings on thorax reduced to traces along sutures, carinae and mesepisternal stripe (when not pruinose); (4) Pt 3-4 mm, 10-11% of Hw length. [Adapted from Dijkstra & Clausnitzer 2014]

Habitat description

Standing and often temporary waters in open landscapes, but sometimes in open areas in forest. Usually with emergent and probably often aquatic vegetation, often with a soft (like muddy) bottom. From 900 to 1500 m above sea level, but near sea level in South Africa.


confirmed: Angola; Botswana; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Namibia; Republic of South Africa; Zambia

© Jens Kipping

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):

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

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

Adult, male; Angola, Uige Province, Negage © Dijkstra, K.-D.B.


  • Balinsky, B. I. (1965). A new species of Orthetrum (Odonata) from southern Africa. Novos Taxa Entomologicos, 39, 3-7. [PDF file]

Citation: Dijkstra, K.-D.B (editor). African Dragonflies and Damselflies Online. http://addo.adu.org.za/ [2024-07-21].