Chlorolestes conspicuus. Reuse Malagiet.
Family Synlestidae Tillyard, 1917
- Chlorolestes conspicuus Hagen in Selys, 1862
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Very large sized, dull metallic green with clear wings and extensive yellow areas on the head. Largest and most robust of the Malachites.
Key identification features:
- Large in size(length 59-62-65mm ♂ ;55-58-62mm♀; wingspan 64-69-72mm♂
- Face metallic green and blue, with central yellow band across genae and anteclypeus. Top of head has a yellow band, and bold triangular yellow mark on back of head beside each eye i.e. occiput yellow. Labrum black.
- Eyes dark greenish brown above, light bluish green below
- Thorax dark metallic green with upper stripe uniformly dark yellow (becoming golden with age) that does not touch the wing bases. A broad metallic green stripe divides the yellow stripes Thebroad lower stripes are uniformly all yellow. Underside pale yellow with white pruinescence
- Wings are always clear (no banded form). Wing venation - has 2 rows of cells between IR3 and R4-5 veins
- Pterostigmas are large, light to dark brown (darkening with age), always mono-coloured
- Abdomen dull metallic green above, greyish-yellow below. Fine yellow ring at start of each segment. S9-10 with heavy whitish-grey pruinescence.
- Usually darker than males.
- Similarly coloured and patterned as male
- Abdominal yellow rings also similar, but no or very light pruinescence
Compared with other species:
- Three Malachite species has mono-coloured pterostigmas (C. conspicuus) (C. apricans, Amatola Malachite) (C. umbratus, White Malachite)
- Yellow markings on face and head is diagnostic for C. conspicuus
- The only other large species is Chlorolestes elegans (Elegant Malachite) (Limpopo Province only), which is more slender, has blackish not brown pterostigmas, and without extensive yellow on head
- Malachites are regional with 3 rare species in specific regions, C. elegans (Elegant Malachite) Limpopo Province only. C. draconicus, Drakensberg Malachite found on the eastern Drakensberg range (at altitude) and C apricans (Amatola Malachite) in small areas in the Eastern Cape. Western Cape endemic species are C. umbratus, Ecchlorolestes nylephtha (Queen Malachite), and E. peringueyi (Rock Malachite)
Distribution and habitat:
- Endemic to South Africa and restricted to the mountainous regions of the Western Cape and the western part of the Eastern Cape..
- Frequents streams with an abundance of marginal grasses, reeds and low bushes. Also rivers with tall fringing vegetation. Inferred to occur from 0 to 1100 m above sea level, but mostly between 200 and 900, although possibly up to 1700.
- Hangs, wings outstretched, on vegetation over water and in full sunshine.