Forest Malachite    Chlorolestes tessellatus     Woudmalagiet   south africa map   Africa

103 026 Forest Malachite,Chlorolestes tessellatus, Woudmalagiet.

103 037 Chlorolestus teslatus Forest Malachite Sharon 3

103 039 Chlorolestus teslatus Forest Malachite Sharon 2

Short description:

Forest Malachite, Chlorolestes tessellatus, Woudmalagiet is fairly large to large sized. metallic green damselfly with pale yellow markings, usually with strongly marked, black and white banded wings.

Family Synlestidae Tillyard, 1917

 This species may in the near future be combined with Mountain Malachite, Chlorolestes fasciatus

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103 037 Chlorolestus teslatus Forest Malachite Sharon 3 Image gallery










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Key identification features:


  • Length 49- 53-57 mm ♂; 47-50-51 mm ♀;wingspan 55-59-68 mm ♂;
  • Face mostly dull metallic with some dull yellow patches.
  • Eyes greenish grey with some brown.
  • Thorax dull metallic green darkening to coppery brown with age. outlined by dull yellow stripes from above, sides and underside mostly pale yellow with some pruinecence below. The upper  stripes broad and dark (broader and darker the the Mountain Malachite). The lower stripe are broad  and with the fore half yellow becoming brown towards the rear half
  • Wings in the Eastern Cape, with strongly marked black and white banded wings. In the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Limpopo Province, wings clear; some individuals in open habitats in KwaZulu-Natal with weakly banded wings. Pterostigmas cream or light brown outside, very dark brown inside darkening to a uniform brown with age..
  • Abdomen dull metallic green from above, somewhat yellowish at sides darkening to a coppery brown with age. Segments 9 and 10 with whitish grey pruinescence. Upper claspers down-turned towards the tip. Lower claspers branched curved inwards to the point.


  • Similar in colour and patterning to male,, although wings always clear and never banded, only light pruinescence on segments 9 and 10.
  • Inhabits clear, shallow, rocky streams with riffles and glides and with an abundance of long grass, herbs and indigenous overhanging bushes (used as oviposit sites). Often calmer sections (like pools) with emergent vegetation, coarse detritus, rocks and/or a soft (like muddy) bottom.
  • From 0 to 2400 m above sea level, but mostly between 1100 and 2100.
  • Mostly at rest with outstretched wings on vegetation overhanging water.
Compared with other species:
Distriburtion Map May 2020










South Africa:

  • Widely distributed in many of the mountainous areas of South Africa,mostly between 400 and 1 200 m elevation. Individuals have occasionally been recorded at sea level. It is highly localised where it occurs in the mountains of the Western Cape
Further reading: