Blue Basker. Blousonvangertjie.
Urothemis edwardsii (Selys, 1849)
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Key identification features:
- Face shiny black above and on top. Side of postclypeus and frons with light grey patch. Labium cream, often broadly blackish centrally
- Eyes are black above and grey below.
- Thorax deep deep blue with diffuse black markings especially along the top,with to black stripes on the side,often thorax blue pruinose with maturity.
- Legs coxa/trochanter pale, rest dark / pruinose.
- Hindwing with large, blackish, basal patch, with fine, amber halo. Forewing with minute traces of basal amber. Veins dark brown with cream coloured Ax veins and outer costal veins. Pterostigmas are light yellowish with a thin, black margin along the front edge.
- Abdomen is deep blue with distinct dark ladder-like blue/black arrowhead like pattern from the base to tip. Pruinose with maturity. Superior appendages brownish in colour.
- Similar in build, light brown with dark brown markings instead of blue.
- Legs top half of femora pale, bottom half dark. May vary to the middle part of the femora pale, tops part dark but coxa/trochanter pale
- Abdomen yellow/orange with similar markings as male
- Hindwing patch less intense and more irregular in shape with large amber halo. Wingtips have some amber.
Compared with other species:
- Similar to the Red Basker, U. assignata, but different in colour when compared to U. edwardsii.
- Female U. assignata has reddish abdomen and less distinct abdominal markings than the female U. edwardsii
- Wing patches of U. assignata larger and darker red than U. edwardsii
- U.edwardsi Male legs top half of femora pale, bottom half dark. May vary to the middle of the femora pale, tops dark but coxa/trochanter pale Female legs top half of femora pale, bottom half dark. May vary to the middle of the femora pale, top part dark but coxa/trochanter pale U.assignata male legs coxa/trochanter pale reddish, rest dark; femora may have reddish glow.
Distribution and habitat:
- Fairly common in the eastern coastal regions and the warm northern parts of South Africa.
- Prefers standing waters, rivers and flowing channels in marshes, but possibly also lakes, in open landscapes, open areas in forest or shaded by gallery forest. Usually with emergent vegetation and often coarse detritus and a soft muddy bottom.
- From 0 to 1600 m above sea level.
- Strong flight but soon returns to perch.
- Typically rest in ‘pennant’ position, i.e. at the tip of a conspicuous perch, with legs thrust forward and wings raised with the abdomen angled up or down.