Spotted Spreadwing Lestes tridens Gevlekte Spanvlerkie
Spotted Spreadwing, Lestes tridens Gevlekte Spanvlerkie is small to medium sized, greyish green to greyish blue, with dark grey elongated spots and speckles and a distinctive wavy oak leaf pattern on the top of the thorax Very similar to Cryptic Spreadwing, L. dissimulans.
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Key identification features:
- Thorax is greyish green to greyish blue with dark elongated spots and speckles with wavy 'oak leaf' dorsal band on the thorax.
- Pterostigmas is dark greyish brown and shorter.
- Less blue on the terminal segments Superior appendages are distinctly whitish with black bases and tips.
- There are three teeth on the inside of each upper clasper. Upper clasper has a single blunt tooth close to the base.
- Light brown has similar dark brown spots on the thorax.
Compared with other species:
- L. dissimulans, Cryptic Spreadwing is also speckled but has dark appendages and one tooth on the inside of each upper clasper.
- Pterostigmas of the L. dissimulans are longer (>1 mm.) The pterostigmas of L. tridens is <1 mm.
Distribution and habitat
From E Cape to the northern parts of South Africa and the coastal plains of KZN, eastern Mpumalanga and LP.
Preferred habitat is grassy and bushy margins of pools, dams, swamps, lake shores, and waterholes,
usually with emergent and often aquatic vegetation.
From 0 to 1800 m above sea level, but mostly below 600.
- Hangs with wings outstretched inactively on grass stems or twigs over water. Female often with male.
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species Least concern.
Odonata Atlas of Africa VMU Number 660330
African Dragonflies & Damselflies Online