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Libélula Crocothemis erythraea

Diputación de Málaga
GR 249 Etapa 15 Libélula africana (Crocothemis erythraea)

Libélula Crocothemis erythraea

When to see them
Safe appearance Probable appearance
Animal Life > Dragonflies


Length: From 36 to 45 mm.
Hindwing spam: From 23 to 33 mm.
Male: 1. Red frons, thorax and legs. There are no markings, but blue-grey colour on the hind and lower part of the eyes stands out. 2. Red abdomen is wide and very flatten. It has no black markings. 3. Long gold pterostigma. 4. Reddish veins on the forewing margin. 5. Saffron-coloured markings on the base of the wings are very small or invisible on the forewings and larger on the hindwings.
Female: It is similar to the male in the features of the wings and the abdomen, but not in colour, as it is rather light. It can be easily distinguished from other species thanks to the above characteristics and because it has vulvar spine that stands out on the last abdominal segments (6).



This colonist can spread fast in recently created water bodies. It prefers mating in standing kinds of water, as well as in pools in rivers and streams, lakes, reservoirs, ponds used for livestock, farming or golf courses, artificial ponds, canals, water tanks, flooded quarries and gravel pits. They can live in moderately salty or polluted water bodies.


Way of life

It rests on the ground or shore emergent plants, such as cane reeds, bulrushes and reeds. It can rest in horizontal and diagonal position, in the shape of an obelisk at midday. Its wings are often held forward over the thorax. The male is very aggressive and territorial towards other males. The female lays eggs alone while flying. It touches the water with the tip of the abdomen and drops eggs.


When to see this species

In Málaga, it is recorded throughout the year. However, it can usually be seen from May to October, especially from June to September.


Where to see this species

This is one of the most common and widespread species in the province. It has been seen on stages 2, 3, 5, 13, 16, 18, 19, 21, 22, 24, 25, 30 and 35 of the Great Málaga Path, and it can probably be found on more stages.


Similar species

Genera Sympetrum, and Trithemis.


Conservation status

The species is not endangered nor particularly protected by the current environmental law.