Conspicuous Malachite Chlorolestes conspicuus Reuse Malagiet
Very large sized, dull metallic green with clear wings and extensive yellow areas on the head. Largest and most robust of the Malachites.
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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
- 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 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:
- Three Malachite species has mono-coloured pterostigmas (C. conspicuus) (C. apricans, Amatola Malachite) (C. umbratus, White Malachite)
- Yellow markings on face and head is diagnostic for C. conspicuus
- The only other large species is Chlorolestes elegans (Elegant Malachite) (Limpopo Province only), which is more slender, has blackish not brown pterostigmas, and without extensive yellow on head
- Malachites are regional with 3 rare species in specific regions, C. elegans (Elegant Malachite) Limpopo Province only. C. draconicus, Drakensberg Malachite found on the eastern Drakensberg range (at altitude) and C apricans (Amatola Malachite) in small areas in the Eastern Cape. Western Cape endemic species are C. umbratus, Ecchlorolestes nylephtha (Queen Malachite), and E. peringueyi (Rock Malachite)
Distribution and habitat:
Endemic to South Africa .
Restricted to the mountainous regions of the Western Cape and the western part of the Eastern Cape.
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.
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