Queen Malachite     Ecchlorolestes nylephtha   Koninginmalagiet  Flag of South Africa.svg    Africa

103 039 Ecchlorolestus nylephtha Queen Malachite Sharon 1

103 040 Ecchlorolestus nylephtha Queen Malachite Sharon 4

103 041 Ecchlorolestus nylephtha Queen Malachite Sharon 5

Family Synlestidae Tillyard, 1917

Short description:

Queen Malachite, Ecchlorolestes nylephtha is fairly large, slender damselfly, dull metallic green when young becoming brownish with age. Distinct pale greyish pruinescent spot on neck and one small and one large spot between the wing.

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103 039 Ecchlorolestus nylephtha Queen Malachite Sharon 1Image Gallery

107 015 Queen Malachite r 4Male









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Key identification features:


  • Length 51- 53-55 mm ♂; 47 mm ♀;wingspan 58-60-61 mm ♂; 57-59-61 mm♀Length 51- 53-55 mm ♂; 47 mm ♀;wingspan 58-60-61 mm ♂; 57-59-61 mm♀
  • Face shiny metallic deep bluish green with pale yellow spots. Head dull blackish brown with the first antennal segments pale yellow from above.
  • Eyes above and in front dark greyish brown, behind and below yellowish grey.
  • Thorax in young males dull metallic green darkening to dull brown with age, two narrow but distinct light yellow stripes on sides,yellowish with light pruinescence below. Area between wings heavily pruinescent with one large and one small greyish spot.Wings clear, tend to be slightly smoky. Pterostigmas dark brown.
  • Abdomen metallic green in young males becoming dark brown with age.Abdomen with yellow rings present at base of s 3 to 7. S 9 and 10 heavily pruinescent, light bluish grey.


  • Female similar to male, duller, especially at the top of the head, segments 9 and 10 only lightly pruinescent.
  • Recent DNA work suggest that the genus Ecchlorolestes may have to be subsumed into the genus Chlorolestes. SYNLESTIDAE (Malachites)
 Compared with other species:
Distribution and habitat:

Ecchlorolestus nylephtha Queen Malachite Distribution Map May 2020Only known from the forests of the southern Cape, from the east of the Western Cape
to the west of the Eastern Cape.
Preferred habitat is small, clear streams with pools with high organic content in full forest.
Inferred to occur from 0 to 900 m above sea level.

  • Both the males and females are seen at the water’s edge, females are generally relatively inconspicuous. 
  • Males hangs from ferns and other vegetation with outstretched wings over the water.
  • Can be seen perching on boulders in streams with its wings spread out, similar to the Rock Malachite
Further reading:

A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species   Near Threatened
African Dragonflies & Damselflies Online
Odonata Atlas of Africa VMU Number 660150



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