100 954 Diplacodes lefebvrii Black Percher Male Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2019r 6 100 1107 Diplacodes lefebvrii Black Percher Young Male Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2019r 3 100 1113 Diplacodes lefebvrii Black Percher Female Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2018r 4

Black Percher Swartsitterrjie

Links to aricles and Images:
Short description:

Black Percher, Diplacodes lefebvrii, Genus Diplacodes, Family Libellulidae, very small to small sized, and all black when mature When immature a yellowish side stripe on the side of the abdomen may be visible..

Key identification features:

Males: 100 954 Diplacodes lefebvrii Black Percher Male Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2019r 6

  • Length 27 - 30 - 32mm: wingspan 46 - 49 - 54mm; Abdomen 14-18mm, Hind wing: 18-23mm.
  • Frons and top of head dimpled shiny black with slight purple metallic sheen.
  • Eyes  are a deep purplish black.
  • Thorax is totally black. Wings clear with small amber patch at base of hindwing.
  • Pterostigmas light to mid greyish brown with dark brown front margin and thick black veins, 3.1–3.4 mm long.
  • Abdomen has white/yellow marks on lateral side, peters out on segment 8 all black.These marks disappear with age becoming dark grey/black. Superior appendages white but darkening with age. Dark tips

Females: 100 1113 Diplacodes lefebvrii Black Percher Female Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2018r 4

  • Yellowish green with blackish irregular stripes on thorax.
  • Hindwing has a basal amber patch, larger than in the male.
  • Pterostigmas light to mid greyish brown between thick dark veins.
  • Abdomen has a blackish stripe above and on sides. Yellowish side stripe present that peters out on segment 8.
  • Adult females are similar to males, but with some pale markings on the face. Sub adults are coloured with yellow and black markings on thorax and abdomen.
  • The wings of females are more pale coloured and the black area of hind wings in males is replaced by rich amber yellow.
Compared with other species:
  • Male is similar to the Dwarf Percher, D. pumila.
  • D. pumila has dark claspers. D. lefebvrii has white (young) to dark light brown claspers, very seldom black
  • D. pumila has white spot on s 8. D. lefebvrii s8 all black.

Click here for a complete comparison diagram between Black Percher, Diplacodes lefebvrii  and Dwarf Percher, D. pumila.

Distribution and habitat:
  • Found at virtually every open marsh in the African continent.
  • Found in standing and probably often temporary waters. Possibly also large lakes, in open landscapes, usually with with an abundance of tall grasses, mats of floating algae, other swamp vegetation and emergent vegetation.
  • From 0 to 2200 m above sea level, but mostly below 1600.
  • It rarely flies more than a metre or two, taking-off rapidly and fly low over the water (restless). Usually perches less than half a metre from the water surface and usually on a grass stem or away from water on the ground. Young and immature males may be found well away from water
  • Females lay her eggs with rapid dipping movements on floating algae
Link to Further reading:
A Guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa p. 178
Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa   p. 167
Dragonfly Biotic Index   p. 164
The Dragonflies and Damselflies of Eastern Africa   p. 168
Websites of interest

Odonata Atlas of Africa VMU Number 669120
African Dragonflies and Damselflies Online
Warwick Tarboton.
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species        (Least Concern)
Other Information:
Size Comparison Diagram Dragonflies, Damselflies
Identification and Morphology. A complete description

Map of South Africa

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