108 005 Chlorolestes umbratus White Malachite Male Koegelberg Western Cape 18 11 2015 108 006 Chlorolestes umbratus White Malachite Male Koegelberg Western Cape 10 04 2016 117 037 Chlorolestes umbratus White Malachite unbanded  

White Malachite.    Bleekmalagiet.   Flag of South Africa.svg

Links to images and articles:

Images of White Malachite
Please click on all images and links to open or enlarge

Short description:

White Malachite, Chlorolestes umbratus, Genus Chlorolestes, Family Synlestidae, medium sized, with black & white wing bands and a heavily pruinescent dorsal thorax and light blue/grey abdominal tip segments.

Key identification features:


  • Length 42-44-47mm ♂; 35-37-38mm ♀; wingspan 46-48-52mm ♂;
  • Face bright metallic green or bluish green, with yellowish brown genae (area next to face), Labrum glossy bluish black
  • Thorax highly pruinescent pale bluish grey almost white in mature males (diagnostic). The yellow stripes broaden towards the wing basis. Young male striped dull yellow and greenish brown.
  • Eyes above dark brown in young males, greyish black in older males, and dull yellow below.
  • Wings strongly black and white banded in mature male, but clear in young male. Single row of cells between the IR2 and R3 veins.
  • Pterostigmas all buff, darkening with age to a reddish brown. Always mono-coloured
  • Abdomen dull metallic green. S9- 10 lightly pruinescent, greyish blue. S8 lightly pruinescent on older males


  • Young female very similar to young, unbanded male
  • Wings always clear
  • No pruinescence on thorax. S8 lightly pruinescent, S9-10 heavily pruinescent.
  • Banded form with very light grey thorax and black & white banded wings. Unbanded form with brownish thorax and clear wings. Pterostigmas are short and pale reddish brown. t.
Compared with other species:
Distribution and habitat:
  • Endemic to South Africa, and restricted to the Southern and Eastern Cape fynbos and forests.
  • Fast or slow, deep or shallow forested streams with sunflecks occasionally in more open streams with bushes.
  • Hangs from twigs and reeds over water. Favours patching in sunlight. Mostly at rest
Link to further reading:
A Guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa    p. 38
Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa   p. 52
Dragonfly Biotic Index   p. 42
Websites of interist:
Warwick Tarboton
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species   ENDANGERED
Odonata Atlas of Africa VMU Number 660060
Other Information:
Size Comparison Diagram Dragonflies, Damselflies
Morphology of a
Dragonfly or Damselfly
Map of South Africa

Right Click

Copyrighted material - contact us if you want to buy a photo