108 012 Elattoneura frenulata Sooty Threadtail Male Kogelberg Western Cape 18 11 2015 Elattoneura frenulata Sooty Threadtail Female Kogelberg Western Cape 18 11 2015 Elattoneura frenulata Sooty Threadtail

Sooty Threadtail.     Roetswartdraadstertjie.   Flag of South Africa.svg

Family Platycnemididae Yakobson & Bianchi, 1905

Elattoneura frenulata   (Selys, 1860)
Elattoneura frenulata Sooty Threadtail Male Kogelberg Western Cape 18 11 2015
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Short description:

Small sized, distinctly blackish damselfly with blackish upperparts, with a greyish tip to  a very slender abdomen.

Key identification features:

Male:

  • Black face with strong black hairs. Head black from above, developing pruinescence with age
  • Eyes black above, bluish grey below
  • Thorax black above, greyish buff below;appears striped with pruinescence in old males.
  • Abdomen thin with pruinescent S9-10 segments.  
  • Clear wings, and dark brown pterostigmas with fine light brown borders.

Female:

  • Slightly larger,slightly larger,more robust than male, overall dark brown, thorax faintly striped light and dark brown.
Compared with other species:
  • Vaguely similar to young Pseudagrion draconis (Mountain Sprite) but smaller and lacking the postocular spots.
Distribution and habitat:
  • South African western Cape endemic..
  • Localised, although common in places. Endemic to the montane areas of the Western and Eastern Cape. It is usually found among tall grasses in association with bushes on the banks of clear mountain streams and small rivers with sluggish reaches and pools. Usually fairly well-hidden among the tall grasses and other vegetation, but can be seen cruising among them when disturbed.
  • Favours tall grasses of clear sluggish reaches of streams & rivers with well-vegetated banks.
Behaviour:
  • It is usually found among tall grasses in association with bushes on the banks of clear mountain streams and small rivers with sluggish reaches and pools. Usually fairly well-hidden among the tall grasses and other vegetation, but can be seen cruising among them when disturbed.
  • Cruises & settles along the edges, perching low on plants and exposed rocks.
  • On the wing from November to May.
Further reading:
Distribution map Books
A guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa   p. 52  
Dragonfly Biotic Index    p. 62
Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa   p. 70
Websites
Warwick Tarboton
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (Least concern)
Odonata Atlas of Africa VMU Number 661790
African Dragonflies and Damselflies Online
Other Information:
Size Comparison Diagram: Dragonflies and Damselflies
Morphology of a Dragonfly
and a Damselfly
Map of South Africa

 

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