Platycypha fitzsimonsi Boulder Jewel 117 597 Platycypha fitzsimonsi Boulder Jewel  Platycypha fitzsimonsi Boulder Jewel Immature Male Kogelberg Western Cape 19 10 2016

Boulder Jewel.     Klipjuweeltjie.     Flag of South Africa.svg

Family Chlorocyphidae Cowley, 1937
  • Platycypha fitzsimonsi (Pinhey, 1950)
More images:
101 021 Platycypha fitzsimonsi Boulder Jewel Male Margate Kwazulu Natal December 2010 11 103 034 Bolder Jewel r 4
Male Female
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Short description:

Small sized, stocky, bright red, blue and black stocky, bright red, blue and black damselfly.

Key identification features:


  • Face all black.
  • Head with central almost square, light orange spot with two forward pointing brown markings and two light orange spots just behind black eyes from above. Neck red with black markings
  • Thorax deep red with black stripes, some orange on sides.
  • Upper legs black, lower legs slightly flattened with red on outside and white on inside
  • Wings clear with very dark veins, slight smokiness at wing bases. Pterostigmas black with brown centre
  • First four segments of abdomen mostly bright red, fifth segment mostly red above and black below,sixth segment all black. Segments 7–10 bright light blue above and black below. Appendages black. Superior appendages long, flattened on inside of tip. Inferior appendages hook-like


  •  All brown
  • Thorax mostly dark all brown above and light brown at sides.
  • Abdomen patchy dark greyish brown and light brown.
Distribution and habitat:
  • Flag of South Africa.svg Endemic to South Africa.
  • Prefers mostly streams, but also rivers, in open landscapes, but sometimes shaded by gallery forest. Often with rocks and probably submerged roots, dead trunks or branches and/or coarse detritus
  • Southern Cape, East coast, KZN and MP with tall grasses on their banks. Prefers higher altitude boulder streams 
  • Usually rests on exposed boulders.
  • Short flights, often perches on boulders midstream, or on twigs, reeds or grasses over hanging the water.
Compared with other species:
  • Unmistakable coloring in the Southern Cape but similar to Platycypha caligata (Dancing Jewel) Platycypha calgata Dancing Jewel Mooinooi NWP RSA MCH 2015r 9 along the Eastern coast.
  • P. caligata has an all blue abdomen. P. fitzsimonsi red & blue.
  • P. fitzsimonsi prefers higher altitude boulder streamsP. caligata prefers mostly rivers, but also streams and large lakes, in open landscapes or often shaded by gallery forest. Usually with dead trunks or branches, often emergent vegetation
 Further reading:
Distribution Map Books:
A Guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa .  p 28
Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa ... p 49
Dragonfly Biotic Index ... p 41

Websites of interest:

Warwick Tarboton
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa

Odonata Atlas of Africa VMU Number 661210
African Dragonflies and Damselflies Online
The IUCR Red list of threatened Species
Other Information:
Size Comparison Diagram: Dragonflies and Damselflies
Morphology of a Dragonfly and 
Map of South Africa 



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