Mountain Malachite, Chlorolestes fasciatus, Male  Chlorolestes fasciatus Mountain Malachite Male Laduma LP RSA Dec 2018 Chlorolestes fasciatus Mountail Malachite Female

Mountain Malachite    Bergmalagiet   Africa

Family Synlestidae Tillyard, 1917
  • Chlorolestes fasciatus (Burmeister, 1839)

This species may in the near future be combined with Forrest Malachite, Chlorolestes tesselatus

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100 332 Chlorolestes fasciatus Mountain Malachite Male Laduma LP RSA Dec 2018r 6 100 393 Chlorolestes fasciatus Mountain Malachite Female Dap Naude Dam LP RSA Dec 2015r 1
Male Female
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Short description:

Fairly large to large sized metallic green damselfly with pale yellow markings, usually with strongly marked, black and white banded wings.

Key identification features:


  • Length 340- 46-50 mm ♂; 39-43-49 mm ♀;wingspan 49-55-94 mm ♂;Pterostigmas 1.6-1.9-2.2 mm ♂
  • Young individuals bright metallic green, darkening to dull metallic green with age then becomes bright shiny copper colour at very old age
  • Face bright metallic green with strong central yellow band.
  • Eyes greyish above, light greenish grey below, darkening with age.
  • Mid dorsal carina black, dorsal stripe dark metallic green to copper green.  Antihumeral stripe narrow yellow broadening to continuing into neck but not to the wing base.  Humeral stripe metallic green with broad yellow stripe bellow. Lower thorax blue/grey. Thoraxes of young individuals bright metallic green, outlined bright yellow from above; sides with bright yellow stripes; dull dark green in northern populations
  • Wings strongly black and white banded, occasional individuals with clear wings even when fully mature. May become smoky in clear-winged individuals occurring in shaded habitats.
  • Pterostigmas cream to light brown outside, blackish inside. (Bi-coloured)
  • Abdomen metallic green (like thorax), can become duller green with age, eventually becoming copper. Fine yellow rings at start of each segment. The hind margin of segment 8 and all of s 9 -10 whitish pruinescent. Individuals living in shady habitats may have only a light dusting of pruinescence.


  • Similar to male, always with clear wings
  • Pruinescence on segments 8–10 not as dense as on male.
Compared with other species:
Distribution and habitat:
  • Mostly along rivers and streams or headwaters, in open landscapes, open areas in forest or shaded by gallery forest. Often calmer sections (like pools) with emergent vegetation, coarse detritus, rocks and/or a soft (like muddy) bottom. From 0 to 2400 m above sea level, but mostly between 1100 and 2100.
  • Inhabits clear, shallow, rocky streams with riffles and glides and with an abundance of long grass, herbs and indigenous overhanging bushes (used as oviposition sites).
  • Mostly at rest with outstretched wings on vegetation overhanging water.
Further reading:  Books
A Guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa    p. 34
Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa   p. 54
Dragonfly Biotic Index   p. 46
Websites of interest:
Warwick Tarboton
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species    Least Concern
African Dragonflies & Damselflies Online
Odonata Atlas of Africa VMU Number 660120
Other Information:
Size Comparison Diagram Dragonflies, Damselflies
Morphology of a
Dragonfly or Damselfly
Map of South Africa



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