DragonflyPix

Ringed Cascader (Zygonyx torridus)

• Scientific name: Zygonyx torridus (Kirby, 1889)
• English name: Ringed Cascader
• German name: Gefleckter Wasserfallkreuzer
• French name: N/A
• Dutch name: Watervallibel
• Swedish name: N/A
• Norwegian name: N/A
• Finnish name: N/A
• Danish name: N/A
• Italian name: Freccia di cascata
• Czech name: N/A
• Slovenian name: N/A
• Bulgarian name: N/A
• Typical length: 50-60 mm
• Hindwing: 45-50 mm

Ringed Cascader (Zygonyx torridus)

Distribution map

Map data based on J.-P. Boudot & V. J. Kalkman (eds.),
Atlas of the European Dragonflies and Damselflies

Textbooks had warned us that the male Ringed Cascader (Zygonyx torridus) will fly endlessly and tirelessly over waterfalls and rapids to defend his territory against other males and to look out for visiting females. And indeed, on some occasions we had to wait a full eight hours for one of the dozen or so males (each holding roughly a 30-yard territory) to settle down and allow us to get close enough for a decent photograph. The two sexes look very similar, but the male's thorax is slightly darker and he has less yellow on abdominal segments 1 and 2. While we didn't get a chance to photograph a single female (they proved impossible to find), we were very fortunate to observe the species' ovipositing behaviour. Zygonyx torridus is said to be quite common throughout tropical Africa but its presence in Europe is very limited; in Sicily three individuals were caught in 1976 and two males were observed in 2010. On the Canary Islands and in the Valencia area the species is reportedly fairly common. And it is certainly quite common and numerous in Southern Spain (Andalusia), where we made our photographs. [Update: some of the photographs below are taken from a field trip to the Canary Islands in May/June 2014. Please note the female in Dr1523 and Dr1538 who is ovipositing while resting on some vegetation. She had started ovipositing in tandem a few minutes earlier but because of the very strong and blustery wind the tandem had become separated. The female continued to fly low over the water, with the male hovering nearby (by way of non-contact guarding). He soon gave up though, probably because it proved too difficult or tiring to hold his mid-air position. The female then started looking for a patch of emergent vegetation on which to settle down, and then (presumably) released her eggs by rubbing her abdomen in some wet mosses.]

Click on a thumbnail to display the photograph (at 1200 x 800 pixels) in a new window.

1 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1502 29/05/2014 17:06 Spain F8 1/250 180mm ISO400 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
2 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1503 03/06/2014 16:14 Spain F8 1/500 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
3 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1504 03/06/2014 16:27 Spain F8 1/500 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
4 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1505 20/08/2010 14:56 Spain F8 1/320 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
5 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1506 20/08/2010 14:57 Spain F8 1/250 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
6 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1507 05/06/2014 15:01 Spain F8 1/1000 180mm ISO400 Canon7D +Crop -Flash MF
7 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1508 20/08/2010 14:59 Spain F8 1/250 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
8 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1509 20/08/2010 15:03 Spain F8 1/400 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
9 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1510 05/06/2014 16:15 Spain F8 1/1000 180mm ISO400 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
10 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1511 20/08/2010 15:31 Spain F8 1/400 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
11 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1512 20/08/2010 15:35 Spain F8 1/250 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
12 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1523 05/06/2014 16:37 Spain F8 1/125 180mm ISO400 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
13 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1524 22/08/2010 16:27 Spain F8 1/250 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
14 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1525 22/08/2010 16:28 Spain F8 1/250 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
15 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1526 22/08/2010 16:29 Spain F8 1/250 180mm ISO200 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
16 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1527 23/08/2010 13:04 Spain F5.6 1/1250 180mm ISO400 Canon7D +Crop -Flash MF
17 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1535 24/08/2010 17:34 Spain F5.6 1/80 180mm ISO400 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
18 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1536 24/08/2010 17:38 Spain F8 1/50 180mm ISO400 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
19 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1537 24/08/2010 17:40 Spain F5.6 1/80 180mm ISO400 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF
20 / 20; PhotoID: Dr1538 05/06/2014 16:37 Spain F8 1/180 180mm ISO400 Canon7D -Crop -Flash MF