Family: Libellulidae
Genus: Nannophya
Species: Nannophya pygmaea

Date 8 February 2013 Friday 10:00AM

Location : Sri Aman, Lupar River


A male Nannophya pygmaea found in Sri Aman beside a road dranage in March 2013. Together with this one are few other male in the same corner of drain. All perching on tall grasses above water.

No female were seen that morning.

Nannophya pygmaea easily the smallest anisopteran in the region and one of the smallest in the world.

Nannophya pygmaea, also known as the Scarlet Dwarf, Northern Pygmyfly, or Tiny Dragonfly

Belong to the family Libellulidae, native from Southeast Asia to China and Japan, occasionally found south to Australia.


This is the smallest true dragonfly in Borneo Island and one of the smallest in the world. In males, the hindwing is 12 to 13 mm in length and the total body length ranges from 16 to 17 mm.


Widespread, but local, in tropical and subtropical Asia from Nepal and North-east India in the west of Japan and New Guinea in the east.

Found in open grassy swamps and inlets of reservoirs and abandoned paddy fields

Nannophya pygmaea is one of the smallest dragonfly (Anisopterean) species in the world. It is definitely the smallest dragonfly species in Peninsular Malaysia. The size of N. pygmaea is about hw (hind wing) = 12 cm. It has bright red eyes and body, and the bases of hind wings and forewings are yellow tinted. Nannophya pygmaea prefers stagnant open water (such as open swamp and marsh) with grassy vegetation. It is strictly a forest species. The male is red but the female is rather dark brown (with light bands on the abdomen). However, the colour (light brown) of the immature male is similar to that of immature female.

The Largest and Smallest species of Dragonflies in Borneo
The Largest and Smallest species of Dragonflies in Borneo
Anax panybeus
Nannophya pygmaea


The Largest Species
Anax panybeus

body length = 92mm
wingspan = 116mm

The Smallest Species
Nannophya pygmaea

body length = 17.5mm
wingspan = 29mm


This species being the smallest of the dragonflies, with a recorded wingspan of only 20 mm (3/4 in).

This dragonfly of Borneo at left is slightly larger

Hind Wing Span : 26mm
Body Length : 17.5mm

Hong Kong record : 20mmX15mm

Singapore record : 27mmX17mm

Dr. Orr record : 26mm X

The wing base is tinted with amber.

The male has a red thorax and abdomen. Its eyes are red on top and dark brown below, with a sharp line of delineation. In the female, the dorsum of the thorax is black. The abdomen has transverse bands of brown and white. The eyes are light brown on top and olive green below. The immature male is yellowish brown in colour.

The mature male is almost entire red particularly on its eyes and body.

The immature males is yellowish brown in colour. The female's abdomen has bands of brown and white.



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