Orthetrum serapia

Common Name:
Green Skimmer
O. serapia
Species Description
Orthetrum is a genus of dragonflies in the Libellulidae family. It is a very large genus, spread across the Old World.

Orthetrum serapia (Watson, 1984) is an Australian species of dragonfly that are yellow with black markings and are possibly closely related to O. sabina with similar habitats of still or sluggish shallow often temporary waterbodies.

Male has a hind wing averaging 35 mm (range 33-37 mm); abdomen (including appendages) averaging 35 mm (range 33-40 mm). Female has a hind wing averaging 36 mm (range 35-37 mm); abdomen (including appendages) averaging 37 mm (range 34-40 mm). Colour partern similar in both sexes, while for female, yellow areas sometimes more extensive but, in some cases, far more restricted, than the male. Adult is greenish yellow to greyish yellow with paler and balck marking. Sides of synthorax striped black and greenish yellow to greyish yellow. A small dark spot at base of hindwing. Pale markings on abdominal tergum 4 complex, inclduing a posterior longitudinal strip on each side of midline, often fused with lateral band.

Both male and female adults of O. serapia are similiar to O. sabina. In both sexes, the colour pattern of abdominal tergite 4 separates the 2 species; the yellow marks are lateral and marginal in O. sabina, but are more complex in O. serapia, with an additional dorsolateral yellow stripe on each side, fused or not with the lateral yellow band. The anterior ridge of the hamule protrudes more in O. serapia than in O. sabina, and the lateral corners of the vulvar scale are more strongly reinforced.

Populations of Orthetrum serapia occur from the Phillipines to the south-western pacific. In Northeast Queensland, Australia, this species coexists with O. sabina, which is actually 'very closely similar in appearance to O. serapia'. It is a very common species, within Australia and outside; it has a stable population the there are no known threat affecting it at present, so it is listed by IUCN Red List as Least Concern. 


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