Pallid Spreadwing, Lestes pallidus, Bleekspanvlerkie 

100 558 Male Mabusa Nature Reserve MP RSA Dec 2017r 1

100 567   Female Marlothpark MP RSA Apr 2017r 9

100 571 Lestes pallidus Pallid Spreadwing Mating Pair Mabusa LP RSA Dec 2019r 1

Short Description:

Pallid Spreadwing, Lestes pallidus Bleekspanvlerkie is medium sized, overall greyish and striped, but very variable in patterning and colour.

Family Lestidae Calvert, 1901

 More Images

101 051 Lestes pallidus Pallid Spreadwing Male Tshipise LP March 2013Images

100 3083  Male Close up RNR RSA Febr 2020r 1Male









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Key identification features:


  • Face dark grey,labrum and lower part of anteclypeus greenish blue. Head dark grey from above.
  • Eyes conspicuously bright sky blue above, light grey below,with central grey flecks.
  • Thorax ranges from sandy brown to greenish, blue to nearly black. Strongly, weakly of parsley striped, but never dark green.
  • Clear wings- become yellowish. Pterostigmas mostly bi-coloured dark grey with light border, becoming blackish grey with age.
  • Abdomen with dark, dorsal line along its length. Segments 1, 2,7 and 8 mostly dark grey. Segments 3 to 6 mostly greenish grey in young males, greenish blue in older individuals. Segments 9 and 10 heavily pruinescent light grey. Upper appendages straight in lateral view and tips pointing towards each other.


  • Light brown with striped thorax
  • Pterostigmas outer half very pale
  • Prefers standing and mostly temporary waters in open landscapes, open areas in forest or shaded by gallery forest. Usually with emergent and often aquatic vegetation.
  • From 0 to 1900 m above sea level, but mostly between 800 and 1500.
  • Perches with wings outstretched within few centimetres of the water surfaces.
 Compared with other species:


Distribution Map June 2020 Map










South Africa:

  • Pallid Spreadwing, Lestes pallidus Bleekspanvlerkie is common and widespread across Namibia and the northern parts of South Africa west and central KZN 


  •  Angola; Botswana; Cameroon; Cape Verde; Chad; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Ethiopia; Gambia; Ghana; Kenya; Malawi; Mali; Mauritania; Mozambique; Namibia; Niger; Nigeria; Republic of South Africa; Senegal; Somalia; Sudan; Tanzania; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe;
Further reading:

Odonata Atlas of Africa VMU Number 660410
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa
African Dragonflies & Damselflies Online