Trithemis imitata Pinhey, 1961
Northern Fluttering Dropwing

Type locality: Buta, DRC


Male is similar to T. monardi by (a) labrum at least partly pale; (b) black lines on thorax straight and slender, parallel and not merging; (c) Pt yellow to pale brown, contrasting with anterior and posterior black veins; (d) at least some basal veins yellow to red; (e) amber Hw patch includes triangle and anal loop, its distal border rather straight and perpendicular to costa, ending distal to tornus; (f) Abd slender, S4 over 3x as long as wide; (g) S8-9 largely black, with pale markings concentrated basally and/or dorsally; (h) lateral carinae of S5-7 usually marked with black; (i) S8 dorsal carina black at base, isolating pale basal spot. However, differs by (1) ranging from Kenya to Ethiopia and W Africa; (2) labium and labrum often with no or little black; (3) Hw base yellow to orange rather than deep amber, contrasting weakly with yellow veins, also with maturity; (4) venter of S7 often largely black (paler on ventral carinae), dorsum with complete black lateral band. [Adapted from Dijkstra & Clausnitzer 2014; this diagnosis not yet verified by author]

Habitat description

Standing and often temporary waters in open landscapes, but sometimes in open areas in forest. Usually with emergent vegetation and probably a sandy and/or soft (like muddy) bottom. From 0 to 1600 m above sea level, but mostly below 700, although possibly up to 2100.


confirmed: Angola; Benin; Burkina Faso; Côte d'Ivoire; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Congo-Brazzaville; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Ethiopia; Gabon; Gambia; Ghana; Guinee-Bissau; Kenya; Liberia; Mali; Nigeria; Sierra Leone; South Sudan; Uganda

Male © Nicolas Meziere

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):

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

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


  • Pinhey, E.C.G. (1961). A survey of the dragonflies (order Odonata) of eastern Africa. British Museum, London, 1-214.
  • Pinhey, E.C.G. (1971). Odonata collected in Republique Centre-Africaine by R. Pujol. Arnoldia, 5, 1-16. [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. [2024-06-17].