Rock Malachite     Ecchlorolestes peringueyi     Rotsmalagiet  Flag of South Africa.svg   Rock Malachite, Ecchlorolestes peringueyi, Rotsmalagiet found in Africa only

117 008 Ecchlorolestes peringueyi Rock Malachite
103 000 Chlorolestes umbratus White Malachite
108 008 Ecchlorolestes peringueyi Rock Malachite Female Jonkershoek Western Cape Mar 2016

Family Synlestidae Tillyard, 1917

Short description:

Rock Malachite, Ecchlorolestes peringueyi, Rotsmalagiet fairly large sized, robust, marbled straw and brown, and very different in appearance from all other Malachites. When perched on rocks with wings spread, it blends with the rocks.

Also classified as Chlorolestes peringueyi

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Key identification features:


  • Face metallic bluish green with light yellow spots on face and first antennal segment.
  • Head deep brown from above.
  • Eyes mottled grey, dark above and in front.
  • Thorax dull metallic with dark and light brown mottling, much darker above than below, fine dusting of pruinescence on lower half.
  • Wings clear with distinct black venation, without any black and white banding. Pterostigmas dark reddish brown, bordered on side and back edge with fine buff line.
  • Abdomen mottled to striped, each segment starts with light yellow followed by dark brown and ends in dark brown ring. Segments 1, 2, 9 and 10 with fine whitish  pruinescence.


  • Similar to male with more extensive dark markings, only slight pruinescence on segments 9 and 10.
Compared with other species:
  • The Rock Malachite is unmistakable. Unmistakable behavior and coloration in the described habitat.
    Different in appearance from all other Malachite species
Distribution and habitat:

Ecchlorolestes peringueyi Rock Malachite Distribution Map May 2020Endemic to South Africa and restricted to the Western Cape mountains.
Inhabits clear montane streams and rivers with clear pools that are strewn with very
large lichen-covered boulders, but sometimes headwaters, in open landscapes, but possibly
also in shade of gallery forest. Often with emergent vegetation, coarse detritus, rocks and
a soft (like muddy) bottom, probably especially calmer sections (like pools).
Inferred to occur from 0 to 1000 m above sea level, but possibly up to 1600.

  • Settles with wings spread on exposed rocky surfaces.
  • Both the male and female rest on the tops of the massive and well-weathered boulders where they are camouflaged among lichens.
  • Occasionally the male can also be seen perching on twigs over the stream.
  • Sometimes seen on the wing in December and January, but it is usually a late season species, being most abundant in April and May.
  • Hangs in shaded clefts with wings folded when hot.
Further reading:

A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa
Odonata Atlas of Africa VMU Number 660160
African Dragonflies and Damselflies Online
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species


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