Orthetrum testaceum, a broad-bodied red dragonfly

Orthetrum testaceum testaceum

A male Orthetrum testaceum testaceum (Burmeister, 1839) resting on the Boston Fern. Shot in August 13, 2007 What a stunning red beauty, this dragonfly of the Orthetrum species is!

I’ve frequently seen it flying by our garden though more concentrated along the monsoon drain outside our backyard. It flies swiftly to and fro as if staking its claim over the route it plies! How blessed I was to be able to capture a couple of its image recently! :D

Actually I was at my kitchen sink doing my wifely duty preparing for lunch, and gazing outside through the window panes, I caught sight of this red creature plying behind. Beautiful red Orthetrum testaceum testaceum (Burmeister, 1839). Shot in August 13, 2007 As you’ve guessed, I ran for my camera which was close by and hurried to where it was, probably took me half a minute in all.

And, was I elated when I saw it was still perched on the Boston fern that spanned across the monsoon drain! It took flight when I neared him but reverse course and came back as if wanted to be photographed. :) I did a quick take of 2 shots before it flew off from my sight!

How happy I am to have succeeded in nailing its identity through google search! To my surprise, this red dragonfly is a male prince, whilst the female will have a golden brown body with obscure dark markings! It appears to be one of the largest red dragonfly around.


  • Scientific name: Orthetrum testaceum testaceum (Burmeister, 1839)
  • Another name: Libellula testacea Burmeister 1839
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Odonata
  • Suborder: Anisoptera
  • Family – Libellulidae
  • Genus – Orthetrum
  • Species – testaceum testaceum (Burmeister, 1839)

Habitat: Open areas around rivers, lakes, ponds, marshes

Location: Found in China, Hainan, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines.

Click this site to enjoy more pictures of the Orthetrum testaceum! Here, I got to know a little about ovipositing and how it copulates!
It is quite similar in looks with the Orthetrum chrysis but the latter is slightly smaller with a brownish black thorax and has a tuft of black hairs underneath the base of the abdomen, in front of the secondary genitalia.

Last edited:May 28, 2016

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