Boulder Jewel, Platycypha fitzsimonsi Klipjuweeltjie
Family Chlorocyphidae Cowley, 1937
Boulder Jewel, Platycypha fitzsimonsi is small sized, stocky, bright red, blue and black stocky, bright red, blue and black damselfly.
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Small sized, stocky, bright red, blue and black stocky, bright red, blue and black damselfly.
Key identification features:
- Face all black.
- Head with central almost square, light orange spot with two forward pointing brown markings and two light orange spots just behind black eyes from above. Neck red with black markings
- Thorax deep red with black stripes, some orange on sides.
- Upper legs black, lower legs slightly flattened with red on outside and white on inside
- Wings clear with very dark veins, slight smokiness at wing bases. Pterostigmas black with brown centre
- First four segments of abdomen mostly bright red, fifth segment mostly red above and black below,sixth segment all black. Segments 7–10 bright light blue above and black below. Appendages black. Superior appendages long, flattened on inside of tip. Inferior appendages hook-like
- All brown
- Thorax mostly dark all brown above and light brown at sides.
- Abdomen patchy dark greyish brown and light brown.
Distribution and habitat:
Boulder Jewel, Platycypha fitzsimonsi is endemic to South Africa.
Prefers mostly streams, but also rivers, in open landscapes, but sometimes shaded by gallery forest.
Often with rocks and probably submerged roots, dead trunks or branches and/or coarse detritus
Southern Cape, East coast, KZN and MP with tall grasses on their banks.
Inferred to occur from 0 to 2100 m above sea level.
- Usually rests on exposed boulders.
- Short flights, often perches on boulders midstream, or on twigs, reeds or grasses over hanging the water.
Compared with other species:
- The unmistakable colouring of Boulder Jewel, Platycypha fitzsimonsi in the southern Cape is diagnostic but similar to Platycypha caligata (Dancing Jewel)
- P. caligata has an all blue abdomen. P. fitzsimonsi red & blue.
- P. fitzsimonsi prefers higher altitude boulder streams. P. caligata prefers mostly rivers, but also streams and large lakes, in open landscapes or often shaded by gallery forest. Usually with dead trunks or branches, often emergent vegetation