White Malachite. Chlorolestes umbratus Bleekmalagiet.
Medium sized, with black & white wing bands and a heavily pruinescent dorsal thorax and light blue/grey abdominal tip segments.
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Key identification features:
- Length 42-44-47mm ♂; 35-37-38mm ♀; wingspan 46-48-52mm ♂;
- Face bright metallic green or bluish green, with yellowish brown genae (area next to face), Labrum glossy bluish black
- Thorax highly pruinescent pale bluish grey almost white in mature males (diagnostic). The yellow stripes broaden towards the wing basis. Young male striped dull yellow and greenish brown.
- Eyes above dark brown in young males, greyish black in older males, and dull yellow below.
- Wings strongly black and white banded in mature male, but clear in young male. Single row of cells between the IR2 and R3 veins.
- Pterostigmas all buff, darkening with age to a reddish brown. Always mono-coloured
- Abdomen dull metallic green. S 9- 10 lightly pruinescent, greyish blue. S 8 lightly pruinescent on older males
- Young female very similar to young, unbanded male
- Wings always clear
- No pruinescence on thorax. S8 lightly pruinescent, S9-10 heavily pruinescent.
- Banded form with very light grey thorax and black & white banded wings. Unbanded form with brownish thorax and clear wings. Pterostigmas are short and pale reddish brown. t.
Compared with other species:
- C. umbratus is the only smallish, Chlorolestes banded-wing, forest dwelling species in the southern Cape
- C. umbratus is the only Chlorolestes species with single row of cells between the IR2 and R3 veins in the hindwing.
- Similar to Chlorolestes apricans (Amatola Malachite) in Eastern Cape which has bronze and not a heavily pruinescent thorax as in this species.
- Female C. umbratus and C. apricans similar. C. apricans labrum metallic green but black on C. umbratus
- One of three Malachite species with mono-coloured Pterostigmas (C. apricans and C. conspicuus Conspicius Malachite)
Distribution and habitat:
Endemic to South Africa, and restricted to the Southern and Eastern Cape fynbos and forests.
Fast or slow, deep or shallow forested streams with sunflecks occasionally in more open
streams with bushes.
Inferred to occur from 0 to 1000 m above sea level, but mostly below 700, although possibly up to 1700.
- Hangs from twigs and reeds over water. Favours patching in sunlight. Mostly at rest
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species ENDANGERED
Odonata Atlas of Africa VMU Number 660060
African Dragonflies & Damselflies Online
Credit to Michael J. Samways & John P. Simaika: Manual of Freshwater Assessment for South Africa: Dragonfly Biotic Index