Glistening Demoiselle, Phaon iridipennis, Glinsterjuffertjie
Glistening Demoiselle Phaon iridipennis Glinsterjuffertjie is very large, ground-living, metallic, greenish brown, with large, rounded, glistening wings made up of dense and delicate netlike veins At rest sitting with wings held at a 35° angle
Also known as a Common Flashwing.
Family Calopterygidae (Selys, 1850)
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Key identification features:
- The largest damselfly in South Africa
- Face is buff colour, with green and brown.
- Eyes are dark green brown above, with lower part light green.
- Thorax is buff colour, brown with metallic green and buff coloured stripes. Darkens with age
- Wings clear and iridescent when young, becoming smoky with age.Iridescence striking, appearing silver, electric blue and lilac when wings are viewed from different angles. Pterostigmas, when present, tiny and yellowish brown.
- Pterostigmas light brown that turns dark with age. May or may not be present on individual specimen.
- Abdomen long, slender, stick-like, straight, dark metallic green with narrow light brown rings at each segmental joint; light brown below.
- Abdomen slightly thicker than that of the male
- Very similar in colour and patterning to the male but slightly less metallic.
- Club-like end of abdomen very conspicuous.
- Likes bushy undergrowth, on or close to the ground. Sometime seen at the edge of forest clearings Near fast flowing streams
- From 0 to 2300 m above sea level, but mostly below 1400.
- Seldom flies. Normally sit on twigs or ground in the horizontal position.
Similarities with other species:
- Spends most of the time resting, and is usually first seen when disturbed.
- It’s strong, fluttering flight and strongly iridescent wings are striking.
- It normally rests on dead twigs with its very straight abdomen pointing slightly upwards with wings folded above the abdomen at an angle of about 30 degrees.
- Warmer eastern and northern parts of South Africa and northwards into Central Africa and Madagascar
- Angola; Benin; Botswana; Burkina Faso; Côte d'Ivoire; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Congo-Brazzaville; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Equatorial Guinea; Ethiopia; Gabon; Ghana; Kenya; Liberia; Malawi; Mali; Mozambique; Namibia; Nigeria; Republic of Guinea; Republic of South Africa; Senegal; Sierra Leone; Somalia; South Sudan; Swaziland; Tanzania; Togo; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe