The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Banded Groundling dragonfly

Afrikaans name: Gebande Grondkruiper

Banded Groundling

Banded Groundling dragonfly

Photo © Steven Herbert

Brachythemis leucosticta

The Banded Groundling is a common dragonfly. It is normally found near water including dams, rivers, streams or pools at lower altitudes. In some areas it is extremely common and is easily found. The website www.researchgate.net describes this species as the most familiar dragonfly in Africa.

The Banded Groundling feeds on small insects and may often fly near people, or animals, keeping an eye out for any potential food that is flushed out. Whenever you walk on a sandy path or shore, near water, keep an eye open for this species on the ground. They are often seen sitting on mud patches. Generally, it prefers to perch in shady areas. They do not fly far from the ground and tend to only make short flights.

Only males have the dark bands in the wings. Mature males have a black head and body while the females, and immature males, are yellowish. Females have black on their thorax and dark lines running down their abdomens.

This dragonfly occurs over most of South Africa in suitable habitat. It is also found in open areas, excluding arid areas, all the way up to Ethiopia and across to west Africa. It is also found in Madagascar.

Banded Groundling

Photo © Steven Herbert

Only males have the dark bands in the wings.

References and further reading

Sasol First Field Guide to Dragonflies of Southern Africa - Author: Warren and Vienessa Goodwin - Published: 0 - Page: 43

Field Guide to Insects of South Africa - Author: Mike Picker, Charles Griffiths and Alan Weaving - Published: 0 - Page: 42

Freshwater Life - Author: C. Griffiths, J. Day & M. Picker - Published: 2015 - Page: 166

A Guide to the Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa - Author: Warwick and Michele Tarboton - Published: 2015 - Page: 184


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