DragonflyPix

Trithemis kirbyi

• Scientific name: Trithemis kirbyi (Selys, 1891)
• English name: Orange-Winged Dropwing
• German name: Feuerroter Sonnenzeiger
• French name: N/A
• Dutch name: Oranje zonnewijzer
• Swedish name: N/A
• Norwegian name: N/A
• Finnish name: N/A
• Danish name: N/A
• Italian name: Obelisco purpureo
• Czech name: N/A
• Slovenian name: N/A
• Bulgarian name: N/A
• Typical length: 30-34 mm
• Hindwing: 23-29 mm

Trithemis kirbyi

Distribution map

Map data based on J.-P. Boudot & V. J. Kalkman (eds.),
Atlas of the European Dragonflies and Damselflies

The Orange-Winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi) is an African species which we first saw in 2009 during a visit to the Tunisian desert. Now, having seen the species reproducing and flying in good numbers on at least three rivers in Southern Spain, we have decided to add it to our European species list. Trithemis kirbyi is relatively small (similar in size to its commoner sister species T. annulata), but what it lacks in size it makes up for in speed and feistiness. The males are virtually all red, except for the odd black line here and there, the black pterostigma, the blue-grey lower half of the eye, and the very large orange wing patches. The female too sports such a wing patch (but its size is more variable than in males) and her base colour is yellow, as it is in immature males. The adult male's favourite perch seems to be a sun-exposed rock in a sluggish river (or failing that, right on the river's edge) from which he overlooks his territory, defends it against intruders, and waits for females to visit the water. If a male manages to grab a visiting female (in mid-air), he will provide the necessary in-flight service and after barely five seconds the copula will break up again. She will then lay her eggs, in typical Trithemis fashion, by dipping her abdomen repeatedly into the water and releasing a number of eggs at each dip while the male will stay in close attendance, flying very fast and furiously around her to fend off any competing males.

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1 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1499 05/10/2009 13:14 Tunisie F8 1/640 180mm ISO100 Canon50D -Crop -Flash MF
2 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1500 10/06/2015 14:07 Espagne F8 1/500 180mm ISO200 Canon7D2 -Crop -Flash MF
3 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1501 05/10/2009 14:04 Tunisie F8 1/500 180mm ISO100 Canon50D -Crop -Flash MF
4 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1513 21/08/2010 11:19 Espagne F8 1/400 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
5 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1514 21/08/2010 11:20 Espagne F8 1/320 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
6 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1515 21/08/2010 11:23 Espagne F8 1/400 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
7 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1516 19/09/2014 15:30 Espagne F9.5 1/250 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
8 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1517 21/08/2010 15:46 Espagne F8 1/400 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
9 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1518 21/08/2010 15:57 Espagne F8 1/500 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
10 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1519 21/08/2010 16:15 Espagne F5.6 1/400 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
11 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1520 21/08/2010 16:16 Espagne F8 1/200 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
12 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1521 21/08/2010 16:18 Espagne F8 1/400 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
13 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1522 21/08/2010 16:28 Espagne F8 1/400 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
14 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1528 14/06/2012 13:00 Espagne F8 1/640 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
15 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1529 23/08/2010 17:47 Espagne F8 1/320 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
16 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1530 14/06/2012 13:09 Espagne F8 1/640 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
17 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1531 24/08/2010 13:03 Espagne F8 1/320 180mm ISO100 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
18 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1532 14/06/2012 14:01 Espagne F10 1/320 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
19 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1533 24/08/2010 15:17 Espagne F8 1/400 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
20 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1534 24/08/2010 15:18 Espagne F8 1/320 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF