Mountain Malachite    Chlorolestes fasciatus    Bergmalagiet    Flag of South Africa.svg     Africa

100-332_ Mountain Malachite, Chlorolestes fasciatus, Male

 Chlorolestes fasciatus Mountain Malachite Male Laduma LP RSA Dec 2018

Chlorolestes fasciatus Mountain Malachite Female Laduma LP_RSA Dec 2018

Family Synlestidae Tillyard, 1917

This species may in the near future be combined with Forrest Malachite, Chlorolestes tesselatus

Short description:

Fairly large to large sized metallic green damselfly with pale yellow markings, usually with strongly marked, black and white banded wings.

More images:

100 332 Chlorolestes fasciatus Mountain Malachite Male Laduma LP RSA Dec 2018r 6 Image Gallery

100 393 Chlorolestes fasciatus Mountain Malachite Female Dap Naude Dam LP RSA Dec 2015r 1 Female









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Key identification features:


  • Length 340- 46-50 mm ♂; 39-43-49 mm ♀;wingspan 49-55-94 mm ♂;Pterostigmas 1.6-1.9-2.2 mm ♂
  • Young individuals bright metallic green, darkening to dull metallic green with age then becomes bright shiny copper colour at very old age
  • Face bright metallic green with strong central yellow band.
  • Eyes greyish above, light greenish grey below, darkening with age.
  • Mid dorsal carina black, dorsal stripe dark metallic green to copper green.  Antihumeral stripe narrow yellow broadening to continuing into neck but not to the wing base.  Humeral stripe metallic green with broad yellow stripe bellow. Lower thorax blue/grey. Thoraxes of young individuals bright metallic green, outlined bright yellow from above; sides with bright yellow stripes; dull dark green in northern populations
  • Wings strongly black and white banded, occasional individuals with clear wings even when fully mature. May become smoky in clear-winged individuals occurring in shaded habitats.
  • Pterostigmas cream to light brown outside, blackish inside. (Bi-coloured)
  • Abdomen metallic green (like thorax), can become duller green with age, eventually becoming copper. Fine yellow rings at start of each segment. The hind margin of segment 8 and all of s 9 -10 whitish pruinescent. Individuals living in shady habitats may have only a light dusting of pruinescence.


  • Similar to male, always with clear wings
  • Pruinescence on segments 8–10 not as dense as on male.
Compared with other species:

Chlorolestes fasciatus Mountain Malachite Distribution Map May 2020Mostly clear, shallow, rocky streams with riffles and glides and with an abundance of long grass, herbs and indigenous
overhanging bushes (used as oviposition sites). Open landscapes, open areas in forest or shaded by gallery forest. 
From 0 to 2400 m above sea level, but mostly between 1100 and 2100.

  • Mostly at rest with outstretched wings on vegetation overhanging water.
Further reading:

A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species   Least Concern
African Dragonflies & Damselflies Online
Odonata Atlas of Africa VMU Number 660120


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