Family: Libellulidae
Genus: Lathrecista

Lathrecista asiatica

Only 1 species worldwide  in this Genus Lathrecista.

Found in Asia: China, Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Malaysia, Philippines, Peninsular Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan

A number of subspecies have been recognized for L. asiatica.

Lathrecista a. festa occurs in northern Australia, New Guinea, the Tanimbar Islands, the Aru Islands, Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands and New Caledonia.

Lathrecista a. interposita occurs in New Guinea, whilst L. a. pectoralis has been recorded from Papua New Guinea, the Moluccas (the type is from Seram) and northern Sulawesi.

Lathrecista a. simulans has only been recorded from the Palawan region of the Philippines.

The nominate subspecies has been recorded from India to the Philippines and Moluccas. The current taxonomic situation appears chaotic. Research is needed to determine if any of the subspecies are actually separate species, or better treated as junior synonyms rather than subspecies. (

Lathrecista asiatica MaleLathrecista asiatica
Lathrecista asiatica
44mm 2016-10-1 Dragonfly Pond
Female ♀45mm 2017-05-28 SG TAWAU

Lathrecista asiatica

Lathrecista asiatica Male and Female

Family Libellulidae
Lathrecista asiatica

Male ♂44mm 2016-10-02 SUN DRAGONFLY POND
Female ♀45mm 2017-05-28 SG TAWAU


A female Lathrecista asiatica. The long and narrow wing shape indicate this species is a speed flyer.

The male and female  have similar marking on thorex. While male has bright red abdomen, the female can be easily separated by the brown abdomen color .


An easy way to identify a female Lathrecista asiatica is this yellow strip running over the thorax through the abdomen and gradually narrowed into a line toward segment 8.

The color pattern of a female Lathrecista asiatica is similar to that of a male.
Segment 9 of this female Lathrecista asiatica is very unusual.

A - The lower part of segment 9 extended out into a pair of wing-like valves as if having a pair of inferior appendage which only males have.

B - The ‘tongue’ of segment 9 (several species have) is exceptionally long.
Segment 9 of a female Lathrecista asiatica is very unique.
The pair of unusual ‘wings’ (A) and the ‘tongue’ (B) form a concave space perfect for protection of eggs ready for deposit.


This male was perching beside a small and shallow monsoon drain with milky water of only 4 inches deep. Near by were 3 other male.

Notice a big fat louse sucking at the bottom thorax. Perhaps because infected with these lice, this Lathrecista asiatica has serious skin disease (see next photo). Lice is a common parasitic found on dragonflies.

Lathrecista asiatica is a medium size species. The red abdomen and yellow strips thorax are particular elegant. It is commonly found at forest margins.

This male Lathrecista asiatica abdomen the usual bright red color but not a healthy skin.

A- Looks like wound left by insect bit ( 3 such wounds)
B- Yellow patches like color deterioration.

Top view show the anal appendages at the abdomen tips of a Lathrecista asiatica male.

Dragonflies have a pair of superior appendages and a single inferior appendages, total three.

(Damselflies have a pair of inferior appendages and a pair of superior appendages, total four appendages)

Bottom view of the male anal appendages

Lathrecista asiatica has narrow hind wings. This make Lathrecista asiatica measurement :

Hind wing = 36mm
Hind wing span = 76mm
Total body length = 46mm
Abdomen length = 30mm

Abdomen very straight-sided. Synthorax ground color coppery brown.  Side of thorex grayish-green. Widespread in tropical Asia.

Lathrecista asiatica  is a widespread species in Asia and tropical Australia. It is a medium-sized species with a red abdomen ( hw, 31-35 mm) but is easy to separate from other similarly marked species by its light build, thin abdomen and narrow hindwing. Mature males bear heavy white pruinescence on the thorax, superficially like Lyriothemis biappendiculata, but their differences in size and shape ensure they cannot be confused. 

A lowland species, L. asiatica is most common around the landward margins of mangrove and also in secondary habitats, around marshes and drains, but usually in the vicinity of forest. It rests frequently, often with the abdomen hanging vertically. It is seldom common anywhere it occurs.



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