|Brachythemis is a genus of dragonfly
in family Libellulidae. They are commonly known as Groundlings. The genus
contains 6 species:
Brachythemis contaminata (Fabricius, 1793) - Ditch Jewel
Brachythemis fuscopalliata (Selys, 1887) - Dark-winged Groundling
Brachythemis impartita (Karsch, 1890) - Northern Banded Groundling
Brachythemis lacustris (Kirby, 1889) - Red Groundling
Brachythemis leucosticta (Burmeister, 1839) - Banded Groundling
Brachythemis wilsoni (Pinhey, 1952) - Wilson's Groundling
Brachythemis lacustris (Kirby, 1889)
is a small, bright red dragonfly with large orange splashes on the wings.
The species is widespread in tropical sub-Saharan Africa, except from rainforest
areas. It is found in Angola, Botswana, Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic
of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana,
Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal,
Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe,
and possibly Burundi. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical
dry forests, subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, dry savanna,
moist savanna, subtropical or tropical dry shrubland, subtropical or tropical
moist shrubland, rivers, and intermittent rivers.
At body length 31.5-32.5 mm, hindwing
span 22-22.5 mm, the male has all brownish red face and vertex. Frons and
vertex dimpled. Eyes blood red above and pink below. Synthorax bright red.
Wings transperant with large, bright orange splashes, almost reaching nodus.
Pterostigmas short, 2.1-2.2 mm long, yellowish brown on inner two-thirds,
becoming darker, reddish on outer third. Abdomen swollen at base. S1 to
S4 all bright red with no dark or black markings. Female is all yellowish
and light brown with few distinctive markings and a less tapering and more
bulbous abdomen. Wings completely clear, with no orange markings.
This species is very gregarious,
often with several individuals of both sexes perching along same grass
stem at water edge.
Brachythemis lacustris maybe easily
confused with Trithemis kirbyi, although T. kirbyi is more orange red,
and perches mostly on rocks, rarely on grasses like B. lacustris. Also
T. kirbyi is not so distinctively gregarious as B. lacustris. T. kirbyi
has red veins in region of nodus, whereas they are black in B. lacustris.
Also, the orange on wings is less intense and is broken in places in T.
kirbyi, whereas it is continuously intense in B. lacustris.
This is a widespread species with
no known major widespread threats and that is unlikely to be declining
fast enough to qualify for listing in a threatened category. Therefore
it is assessed by IUCN Red List as Least Concern.
Dragonflies and Damselflies of