Glistening Demoiselle. Glinsterjuffertjie
Phaon iridipennis (Burmeister, 1839)
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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:
- The largest damselfly in South Africa
- Face is buff colour, with green and brown.
- Eyes are dark green brown above, with lower part light green.
- Thorax is buff colour, brown with metallic green and buff coloured stripes.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Seldom flies. Normally sit on twigs in the horizontal position.