Conspicuous Malachite, Chlorolestes conspicuus, Reuse Malagiet   Flag of South Africa.svg

117 047 Chlorolestes conspicuus Conspicuous MalachiteMale

108 001 Chlorolestes conspicuus Conspicuous Malachite Female Jokershoek Western Cape March 2016

117 005 Chlorolestes conspicuus Conspicuous Malachite

Short description:  

Conspicuous Malachite, Chlorolestes conspicuus, Reuse Malagiet is very large sized, dull metallic green with clear wings and extensive yellow areas on the head. Largest and most robust of the Malachites.

Family Synlestidae Tillyard, 1917

 More Images: 

Click on all images to enlarge or view more

 Key identification features:


  • Large in size(length 59-62-65mm ♂ ;55-58-62mm♀; wingspan 64-69-72mm♂
  • Face metallic green and blue, with central yellow band across genae and anteclypeus. Top of head has a yellow band, and bold triangular yellow mark on back of head beside each eye i.e. occiput yellow. Labrum black.
  • Eyes dark greenish brown above, light bluish green below  with some yellow behind slightly decreasing with age.
  • Thorax dark metallic green with upper stripe uniformly dark yellow (becoming golden with age) that does not touch the wing bases. A broad metallic green stripe divides the yellow stripes The upper stripe may brown completely wit age. The broad lower stripes are uniformly all yellow. Underside pale yellow with white pruinescence
  • Wings are always clear (no banded form). Wing venation has 2 rows of cells between IR3 and R4-5 veins
  • Pterostigmas are large, light to dark brown (darkening with age), always mono-coloured
  • Abdomen dull metallic green above, greyish-yellow below. Fine yellow ring at start of each segment. S9-10 with heavy whitish-grey pruinescence.


  • Usually darker than males.
  • Similarly coloured and patterned as male
  • Abdominal yellow rings also similar, but no or very light pruinescence
Compared with other species:

Frequents streams with an abundance of marginal grasses, reeds and low bushes.
Also rivers with tall fringing vegetation.
Inferred to occur from 0 to 1100 m above sea level, but mostly between 200 and 900, although possibly up to 1700.

  • Hangs, wings outstretched, on vegetation over water and in full sunshine.
Compared with other species:
 Distribution Map May 2020Distribution Map
Political Map South Africa Political Map
Topographical Map South Africa Topographical Map

South Africa:

  • Endemic to South Africa . Flag of South Africa.svg
  • Restricted to the mountainous regions of the Western Cape and the western part of the Eastern Cape.
 Further reading:

A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa
African Dragonflies & Damselflies Online
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Odonata Atlas of Africa VMU Number 660070