Cruisers

(Family Macromiidae Needham, 1903)

Distribution Worldwide
  • Worldwide 125 Cruiser species in genus Macromia
Distribution in Africa and surrounding Islands
  • About 35 Cruiser species in genus Phyllomacromia are endemic to Africa with a single Malagasy species.
  • Three species in southern Africa
General identification features
  • Large to Very large sized
  • Vividly coloured in black and yellow with metallic green eyes Phyllomacromia contumax Two banded Cruiser Male Close up Nwanedi LP RSA Dec 2018
  • Males and females alike in colour and markings  Phyllomacromia picta Male Close up Songimvelo MP RSA Febr 2019    
  • Legs exceptional long 100 2439 Phyllomacromia picta Female Close up Songimvelo MP RSA Febr 2019r 2
  • Discoidal cell (DC) (forewing) and DC (hindwing) nearly similar in shape
  • DC elongated, tapering point facing away from the body
  • Ax veins asymmetrical, not meeting on subcostal vein 100 2437 Phyllomacromia picta Male Close up Songimvelo MP RSA Febr 2019r 39
  • Abdomen with broader terminal segments (clubtails)
Habitat and behaviour
  • Most species reproduce in flowing water, such as forest streams. Such streams are the habitat especially of larger and darker species like P. monoceros (Sable Cruiser). The smaller and paler species, like P. picta (Darting Cruiser) generally occur in drier habitats, like savanna and woodland. These open land species probably breed mainly in rivers, although at least P. contumax (Two-banded Cruiser) and P. picta also use lakes
  • All seldom settle (hanging in vegetation) and are hard to catch. Over water they fly low, fast, erratically and often in shade.
  • Hunting away from water, in glades and along forest margins and roadsides, they fly more slowly but often quite high.
  • Perches by hanging on plant stems
 Synopsis 

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