Goldtail, Allocnemis leucosticta is fairly large sized, slender, mostly black, with black and pale blue (or white) thorax, smoky wings, white pterostigmas and abdomen with golden tip and fluttering flight
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Key identification features:
- Face light blue in a distinct line across and black; labrum and cheeks are light greenish blue. Anteclypeus brown, postclypeus black, frons light blue. Head black from above. Immature male head brown
- Eyes black above, blue below. Neck black with a golden tip at the end of the abdomen is diagnostic .Immature male head, face and eyes brow with light brown
- Thorax black with white or light pale blue stripes.Humeral stripe white becoming yellowish with age. Legs light blue/white in front with black at the back. Immature male brown in place of black makings
- Wings smoky. Root of wings brown. White pterostigmas
- Abdomen mostly black with fine whitish rings and white/light blue stripes along the lower segments becoming darker with age. S9 - 10 black below with distinct orange (white when young) pattern on top . S1-2 white/light blue below. Last half of segment 8 and all of segment s9 - 10, as well as appendages, yellow,sometimes tending to orange but white when young. S 10 may blacken to leave only yellow dot in centre Cerci (upper appendages) with black tip but can become black at upper edges with age. Paraproct (lower appendages) white becoming yellow/orange with age. Cerci tips beds down and inwards.
- Similar but less brightly coloured.
- Pterostigmas ranging from white when young to orange brown with age
- Abdomen mostly black with fine whitish rings and white/light blue stripes along the lower segments becoming darker and brownish yellow with age. Segments 8-10 blueish becoming yellow with age. S 8-10 with distinct pattern. Blueish becoming yellow with black or black bands below with age.
Compared with other species:
- Unmistakable. No other species to compare with.
Distribution and habitat:
Goldtail, Allocnemis leucosticta is endemic to South Africa. Clear, shallow, forest streams.
Varies from well forested areas to occasional bushes and trees.
Montane forests along the coastal highlands from Western Cape - to Limpopo Provinces.
From 0 to 2400 m above sea level.
- Flits in sunny spots among branches overhanging streams, landing and perching in a conspicuous position.
- The white pterostigmas are clearly visible in flight.
- Fluttering flight pattern.
- Sometime in large numbers.
Further reading for Goldtail, Allocnemis leucosticta
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species Least Concern.
Odonata Atlas of Africa VMU Number 661480
African Dragonflies & Damselflies Online
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa