Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Arthropoda Insecta Odonata Gomphidae

Scientific Name: Ceratogomphus triceraticus
Species Authority: Balinsky, 1963
Common Name(s):
English Cape Thorntail

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2ab; B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv)+2ab(i,ii,iii,iv) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2007-04-01
Assessor(s): Samways, M.J.
Reviewer(s): Simaika, J.P., Kipping, J., Suhling, F. (Odonata Red List Authority) & Pollock, C.M. (IUCN Red List Unit)
Ceratogomphus triceraticus is endemic to South Africa and known from very few specimens. Habitat has deteriorated markedly, especially the type locality near Franschhoek. However, the national removal of alien riparian trees is beneficial for this species, which was recorded at Bainskloof in 2004. Its status appears to have stabilized, but the species remains in the Vulnerable category until this can be certain.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2007 Vulnerable (VU)
2004 Vulnerable (VU)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This endemic South African species has a wide range throughout the Western Cape (Pinhey 1984b). It was discovered in 1962 (Balinsky 1963) and very few specimens are known. As it is a large and conspicuous insect, and is not easily overlooked, it must be extremely scarce. Despite many revisits to the type locality, near Franschhoek, the species has not been rediscovered there, although it has recently been discovered in the Cedarberg and Bainskloof, where invasive trees have been cleared. Its extent of occurrence is less than 20,000 km² and area of occupancy is less than 2,000 km².
Countries occurrence:
South Africa (Western Cape)
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2: 0-2000
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Current population size is not known.
Current Population Trend: Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Pools in streams, and occasionally in reservoirs. Rocky, shallow rivers, with deposition pools, and possibly farm dams (Samways 2006).
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species faces many threats, which are probably synergistic, including a severe alien invasive tree problem, and loss of habitat to the wine industry and, to a lesser extent, cattle farming and plantation forestry. Over-extraction of water from streams and possibly pollution from the wine industry are increasing threats. Alien invasive trout may also be a problem.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Currently it occurs in the Limietberge National Reserve. Searches for C. triceraticus must continue, to establish whether it exists in more protected areas. Ongoing removal of alien trees is likely to be of great benefit to this species. Research into population numbers and range, biology and ecology, habitat status, threats, and trends/monitoring would be valuable.

Citation: Samways, M.J. 2010. Ceratogomphus triceraticus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T42845A10759240. . Downloaded on 07 October 2015.
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