Glistening Demoiselle, Phaon iridipennis, Glinsterjuffertjie

100 000  Male Marlothpark MP RSA
100 357  Male Ellisras
100 171  Female
Short Description

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)
More images:

100 000 Phaon iridipennis Glistening Demoiselle Male MarlothparkPhoto Album 

100 361 Male close up Kozi Bay Male

100 361 Male close up Kozi Bay KZN RSA MCH 2018r 2 Female

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Key identification features:

Males

  • The largest damselfly in South Africa
  • Face is buff colour, with green and brown. 100 365 Phaon iridipennis Glistening Demoiselle Male close up Kozi Bay KZN RSA MCH 2018r 17
  • Eyes are dark green brown above, with lower part light green.  100 365 Phaon iridipennis Glistening Demoiselle Male close up Kozi Bay KZN RSA MCH 2018r 17   100 362 Phaon iridipennis Glistening Demoiselle Male close up Kozi Bay KZN RSA MCH 2018r 5
  • Thorax is buff colour, brown with metallic green and buff coloured stripes.  100 362 Phaon iridipennis Glistening Demoiselle Male close up Kozi Bay KZN RSA MCH 2018r 5  100 363 Phaon iridipennis Glistening Demoiselle Male close up Kozi Bay KZN RSA MCH 2018r 7   100 364 Phaon iridipennis Glistening Demoiselle Male close up Kozi Bay KZN RSA MCH 2018r 14Darkens 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.  100 357 Phaon iridipennis Glistening Demoiselle Male Ellisras LP RSA Nov 2017r 2
  • 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.100 366 Phaon iridipennis Glistening Demoiselle Male close up Kozi Bay KZN RSA MCH 2018r 22   100 367 Phaon iridipennis Glistening Demoiselle Male close up Kozi Bay KZN RSA MCH 2018r 23   100 369 Phaon iridipennis Glistening Demoiselle Male close up Kozi Bay KZN RSA MCH 2018r 28   100 368 Phaon iridipennis Glistening Demoiselle Male close up Kozi Bay KZN RSA MCH 2018r 27

Females:

  • 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. 
Habitat:
  • 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.
Behaviour:
  • 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. 

Distribution

Phaon iridipennisDistribution Map June 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

South Africa:

  • Warmer eastern and northern parts of South Africa and northwards into Central Africa and Madagascar

 Africa:

  • 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
Further reading:

Websites
Wikipedia
Encyclopedia of Life
The IUCN red list of Threatened Species
Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa

 

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