African Dragonflies and Damselflies

Below will be a collection of dragonfly and damselfly photos from Africa. Currently all the African odonate species I have photographed are from South Africa, but I hope to visit other countries in the future and will add images as I take them. My North American Odonate index page will have all species I have photographed there and I also have an index page for some images from Peru. The common names of the odonate families as well as individual species below conform to those used in A Field Guide to the Damselflies of South Africa (2005) and A Field Guide to the Dragonflies of South Africa (2002) by Warwick & Michele Tarboton. In some cases these common names differ from those commonly in use in North America. The trip I made to South Africa in January, 2006, was in the company of my friends Nick and Ailsa Donnelly and John Abbott. I'd like to thank them for their help with various identifications of the species we encountered. I'd also like to thank Dave Steyn, our guide with Lawson's Tours, for all his help on this trip. Also, many thanks to Warwick and Michele Tarboton for their generosity and many kindnesses during our visit. Warwick spent several days in the field with us which was a great pleasure.

Note: Within each family of odonates below, the insects are arranged alphabetically by genus and species.

Demoiselles (Calopterygidae)

Glistening Demoiselle (Phaon iridipennis)

Jewels (Chlorocyphidae)

Dancing Jewel (Platycypha caligata)

Malachites (Synlestidae)

Mountain Malachite (Chlorolestes fasciatus)

Spreadwings (Lestidae)

Common Spreadwing (Lestes plagiatus)

Threadtails (Protoneuridae)

Common Threadtail (Elattoneura glauca)

Stream-Damsels (Platycnemididae)

Goldtail (Allocnemis leucosticta)

Narrow-winged Damselflies (Coenagrionidae)

Swamp Bluet (Africallagma glaucum)
Pinhey's Whisp (Agriocnemis pinheyi)
Black-tailed Bluet (Azuragrion nigridorsum)
Common Citril (Ceriagrion glabrum)
Yellow-faced Sprite (Pseudagrion citricola)
Gambel's Sprite (Pseudagrion gamblesi)
Hagen's Sprite (Pseudagrion hageni)
Hamon's Sprite (Pseudagrion hamoni)
Kersten's Sprite (Psuedagrion kersteni)
Masai Sprite (Pseudagrion massaicum)
Salisbury Sprite (Pseudagrion salisburyense)
Natal Sprite (Pseudagrion spernatum)

Hawkers & Emperors (Aeshnidae)

Orange Emperor (Anax speratus)

Clubtail (Gomphidae)

Common Thorntail (Ceratogomphus pictus)
Tigertail (Ictinogomphus ferox)
Yellowjack (Notogomphus praetorius)
Rock Hooktail (Paragomphus cognatus)

Skimmer, Darters, Perchers, etc. (Libellulidae)

Pintail (Acisoma panorpoides)
Banded Groundling (Brachythemis leucosticta)
Broad Scarlet (Crocothemis erythraea)
Little Scarlet (Crocothemis sanguinolenta)
Black Percher (Diplacodes lefebvrii)
Black-tailed Skimmer (Nesciothemis farinosa)
Two-striped Skimmer (Orthetrum caffrum)
Epaulet Skimmer (Orthetrum chrysostigma)
Julia Skimmer (Orthetrum julia)
St. Lucia Widow (Palpopleura portia)
Nomad (Sympetrum fonscolombii)
Red-veined Dropwing (Trithemas arteriosa)
Navy Dropwing (Trithemis furva)
Kirby's Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi)
Jaunty Dropwing (Trithemis stictica)

Photography: I have often been asked about my own methods for taking photos of odonates. I have written an article in which I fully explain what I do and how I do it. Hopefully this article will be helpful to some other photograhers. Digital Odonate Photography: My Personal Techniques