Horned Talontail (Crenigomphus cornutus)

View the above photo record (by Bertie Brink) in OdonataMAP here.


Medium Sized

Length attains 49mm; Wingspan up to 68mm.

Very similar to Crenigomphus hartmanni (Clubbed Talontail).

The main difference is that Crenigomphus cornutus lacks the small foliations on abdomen segments 8 and 9. Additionally, in Crenigomphus cornutus segments 9 and ten are of similar length, whereas in Crenigomphus hartmanni segment 10 is roughly twice as long as segment 9.

Crenigomphus cornutus – Female
Kabompo River, Zambia
Photo by Bertie Brink


Inhabits large, fast-flowing rivers in savanna. Favours sites with abundant grass and low bushes.


Most often seen foraging in rank grass near rivers. Crenigomphus cornutus hunts from a perch, usually a tall grass or reed stem, but sometimes also from bushes.

Status and Conservation

Listed as Vulnerable in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Data deficient in South Africa.


Erratically distributed in South-Central Africa. Recorded from Southern DRC, Northern Zambia and Angola. Also recorded from the Zambezi region of Southern Zambia, Namibia’s Caprivi Strip, far NE Botswana and NW Zimbabwe.

In South Africa Crenigomphus cornutus has only been recorded once, from Malelane in the Kruger National Park.

There are no maps for this species at present.

Dragonfly Atlas: Megan Loftie-Eaton, Ryan Tippett, Rene Navarro & Les Underhill
Dragonfly Atlas: Megan Loftie-Eaton, Ryan Tippett, Rene Navarro & Les Underhill
Megan Loftie-Eaton is our communications, social media and citizen science projects coordinator. Prior to her work for the BDI, she coordinated OdonataMAP, the Atlas of African Odonata. Ryan Tippett is an enthusiastic contributor to Citizen Science and has added many important and interesting records of fauna and flora. He has been a member of the VMU since 2014 and has currently submitted over 11000 records. He is also on the expert identification panel for the OdonataMAP project. Rene Navarro is the genius behind the Virtual Museum. Prof Les Underhill has been Director of the Animal Demography Unit (ADU) at the University of Cape Town since it started in 1991. Although citizen science in biology is Les’s passion, his academic background is in mathematical statistics.