The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Nomad / Red-veined Darter

Afrikaans name: Swerwertjie

Female nomad

Female Nomad dragonfly

Photo © Steven Herbert

Sympetrum fonscolombii

The Nomad is a common dragonfly that is found on three continents. Besides being found over most of Africa, including Madagascar, it is also found in parts of Asia and southern Europe. In some areas it is known as the Red-veined Darter.

This dragonfly has a dependency on water, but that water could be in the middle of an arid area, and they could occur there. It may be seen either perched on the ground or a low plant stem.

The Nomad is not quite 4 cm in length and has a wingspan of around 6 cm. Males are a brilliant orange red in colour while females are drabber. The body of the female is ochre yellow with black lines. Both sexes have black legs with a bit of yellow.

In some areas it can be seen all year round but is most common in summer. This species has the ability to quickly repopulate a dry area after rains.

References and further reading

A Guide to the Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa - Author: Warwick and Michele Tarboton - Published: 2015 - Page: 188

Freshwater Life - Author: C. Griffiths, J. Day & M. Picker - Published: 2015 - Page: 162

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