100 000 Phaon iridipennis Glistening Demoiselle Male Marlothpark MP RSA Apr 2017r 4 100 357 Phaon iridipennis Glistening Demoiselle Male Ellisras LP RSA Nov 2017r 2 100 171 Phaon iridipennis glistening Demoiselle Female KZN RSA Mch 2017r 5

Glistening Demoiselle.       Glinsterjuffertjie

Phaon iridipennis (Burmeister, 1839)
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100 000 Phaon iridipennis Glistening Demoiselle Male Marlothpark MP RSA Apr 2017r 4 100 361 Phaon iridipennis Glistening Demoiselle Male close up Kozi Bay KZN RSA MCH 2018r 2 100 370 Phaon iridipennis glistening Demoiselle Female Ndumu 05 03 2017r 7
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Glistening Demoiselle, Phaon iridipennis, Genus Phaon, Family Calopterygidae, very large, ground-living, metallic, greenish brown, with large, rounded, glistening wings made up of dense and delicate netlike veins At rest sitting with wings held at a 35° angle.

Key identification features:

Males

  • The largest damselfly in South Africa
  • Face is buff colour, with green and brown. 100 365 Phaon iridipennis Glistening Demoiselle Male close up Kozi Bay KZN RSA MCH 2018r 17
  • Eyes are dark green brown above, with lower part light green.  100 365 Phaon iridipennis Glistening Demoiselle Male close up Kozi Bay KZN RSA MCH 2018r 17   100 362 Phaon iridipennis Glistening Demoiselle Male close up Kozi Bay KZN RSA MCH 2018r 5
  • Thorax is buff colour, brown with metallic green and buff coloured stripes.  100 362 Phaon iridipennis Glistening Demoiselle Male close up Kozi Bay KZN RSA MCH 2018r 5  100 363 Phaon iridipennis Glistening Demoiselle Male close up Kozi Bay KZN RSA MCH 2018r 7   100 364 Phaon iridipennis Glistening Demoiselle Male close up Kozi Bay KZN RSA MCH 2018r 14
  • Wings clear and iridescent when young, becoming smoky with age.Iridescence striking, appearing silver, electric blue and lilac when wings are viewed from different angles. Pterostigmas, when present, tiny and yellowish brown.  100 357 Phaon iridipennis Glistening Demoiselle Male Ellisras LP RSA Nov 2017r 2
  • Pterostigmas light brown that turns dark with age. May or may not be present on individual specimen.
  • Abdomen metallic green with brownish rings at the segmental joints.100 366 Phaon iridipennis Glistening Demoiselle Male close up Kozi Bay KZN RSA MCH 2018r 22   100 367 Phaon iridipennis Glistening Demoiselle Male close up Kozi Bay KZN RSA MCH 2018r 23   100 369 Phaon iridipennis Glistening Demoiselle Male close up Kozi Bay KZN RSA MCH 2018r 28   100 368 Phaon iridipennis Glistening Demoiselle Male close up Kozi Bay KZN RSA MCH 2018r 27

Females:

  • Very similar in colour and patterning to the male but slightly less metallic. Club-like end of abdomen very conspicuous. 
Similarities with other species:
  • Unmistakable due to size, habitat and the way the wings are held when sitting.
Distribution and habitat:
  • Warmer eastern and northern parts of South Africa and northwards into Central Africa and Madagascar
  • Like bushy undergrowth, on or close to the ground. Sometime seen at the edge of forest clearings.
  • Near fast flowing streams
Behaviour:
  • Seldom flies. Normally sit on twigs in the horizontal position.
Further reading: 
http://vmus.adu.org.za/vm_map_afr.php?&database=odonata&grid=2&outline=1&key=0&map=4&spp=660580

Books:
A Guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa   p. 24
Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa
   p. 46
The Dragonflies and Damselflies of Eastern Africa   p. 30
Websites
Warwick Tarboton
Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa
African Dragonflies & Damselflies Online
The IUCN red list of Threatened Species
Odonata Atlas of Africa VMU Number 660580 
Other Information:
Size Comparison Diagram Dragonflies, Damselflies
Morphology of a
Dragonfly or Damselfly
Map of South Africa

 

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