Highland Spreadwing. Gewone Spanvlerkie.
Family Lestidae Calvert, 1901
- Lestes plagiatus (Burmeister, 1839)
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Fairly large sized (larger than most other Spreadwings in the region). Inconspicuous, greyish-blue with a distinctly striped thorax.
Key identification features:
- Clear wings which never become yellowish.
- Pterostigmas is uniformly dark brown.
- Strongly light and dark brown striped thorax with narrow metallic green stripes.
- Dark upper appendages long and curved down in side view.
- Older species are dark greyish-blue with much pruinescence.
- Thorax light brown with bronze stripes.
Compared with other species:
- Another striped species is L pallidus, but is smaller and the thorax is very pale.
- Thorax stripes never green. L. virgatus has yellowish wings.
- The tips of the cerci are bent distinctly downwards, rather than towards each other, and the paraprocts are rounded without slender apical process.
Distribution and habitat:
- Common and widespread across the eastern side of South Africa.
- Frequents still-water habitats including fringes of dams, ponds, pools, slow flowing streams and rivers where there is emergent sedge and tall grass or reeds. From 0 to 2200 m above sea level, but mostly between 600 and 1700.
- Hangs wings outstretched on tall grass stems and in full sunshine.