Red List of South African Species

Alternatively, Explore species
Vulnerable (VU)
Assessors: Michael Samways
Contributors: Frank Suhling
Facilitators: Dewidine Van Der Colff
Reviewers: Domitilla Raimondo


Both within and outside of the southern Africa region, this species has a wide range and is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for a threat or Near Threatened category. It is assessed as Least Concern within the region. The current global status is also Least Concern. In South Africa, it is known from an extent of occurrence (EOO) of 1,206 km2 and an area of occupancy (AOO) of 20 km2 and known from three locations where it has been recorded on a few occasions but repeated return visits to the sites did not reveal the species again. The species is experiencing extreme population fluctuations due to drought conditions, as species is expected to return when favorable conditions re-establish, hence it is not assessed as regionally extinct at present. The localities where the species has been collected are threatened by habitat degradation due to cattle trampling. It qualifies as Endangered B1ab(iii)c(iii, iv) + B2ab(iii)c(iii,iv). However, since this is a regional assessment at the national level, a regional adjustment is required since there might be immigration from neighboring stable populations in Mozambique, the species is assessed as Vulnerable B1ab(iii)c(iii, iv) + B2ab(iii)c(iii,iv).


Within the southern Africa region, this species is known from Mozambique, South Africa (from a limited area in northern KwaZulu-Natal (Samways 2006)), Zambia and Zimbabwe. Globally, it occurs in West Africa, east to Kenya and south to South Africa.

Population trend


No information is available on population size.


Drainage and destruction of swampy habitats are the main plausible threats. However, this species is unlikely to be threatened across its entire range. In South Africa, it has only been recorded at the sluggish reaches of streams and pools where grazing by cattle reduces the tall grass on which it needs to perch over the water, causing habitat degradation.


Occurs within protected areas in parts of its range.

Lead agencies, Partners, Funders and Data providers

See the partners page