The Red-veined Dropwing is a common African Dragonfly also occurring in the Mediterranean; the male (above) is plum red coloured with dark red veins on its wings and black markings on its abdomen. It is very similar to the Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata) which covers the same range and has similar dark plum red basic colouring, but has a bluish powdering on its body which makes it look violet. Its body is a little similar to the Red-veined Darter but its veins are redder, its eyes and thorax fully red, its legs black and the black body markings are more extensive.
The female Red-veined Dropwing (above) is yellow ochre, with distinctive black and white markings on the side of the thorax as well as black on the abdomen.
She does not have the red veins through her wings.
The Red-veined Dropwings above, while yellow ochre like the female but with less black markings, have orange veins in the wings. They are assumed to be teneral males. The dropped forward wings which give it its name is a typical posture together with the raised tail.
There is a orange-yellow "underarm sweat mark" at the base of the wings. The abdomen is less parallel than that of the RV Darter but less clubbed than the Ruddy Darter.
The male shows less clearly the same black-outlined shape as the female at the top of the abdomen.
Red-veined Dropwing with out of focus RV Darter
More teneral males, showing the black-lined white thorax, orange veins and black markings on the abdomen (and the handstand).
The amount of black on the body varies between the teneral male (above left) and the female (above right).
Female from top
This female seems to be beginning to turn red
Red-veined Dropwing exuvia