Nannophya pygmaea

Common Name:
Scarlet Dwarf, Northern Pygmyfly, Tiny Dragonfly
N. pygmaea
Species Description
Nannophya pygmaea (Rambur, 1842), known variously as the Scarlet Dwarf, Northern Pygmyfly, or Tiny Dragonfly, is a dragonfly of the family Libellulidae, native from Southeast Asia to China and Japan, occasionally found south to Australia. This species has the distinction of being the smallest of the dragonflies, with a wingspan of only 20 mm.

Nannophya pygmaea is one of the smallest dragonfly species in the world. In males, the hindwing is 12 to 13 mm in length and the total body length ranges from 16 to 17 mm. The mature male is almost entire red particularly on its eyes and body, but the female is rather dark brown and has bands of brown and white on the abdomen. The immature males is yellowish brown in colour that is similar to that of immatured female. The bases of hindwings and forewings are yellow tinted. Nannophya pygmaea prefers stagnant open water (such as open swamp and marsh) with grassy vegetation. It is strictly a forest species. The adult male will defend a small territory of only about one metre square. An interesting study on its territorial mating behaviour revealed that variations in male mating success is correlated more to the number of sunny days and less on male size.

It is one of the most widespread Asian species occurring from the Indian Peninsula to Australia. It is not threatened and is assessed by IUCN Red List as Least Concern. .




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