Zambezi Siphontail. Zambezihewelstert
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Neurogomphus zambeziens, Zambezi Siphontail, Genus Neurogomphus, Family Gomphidae, fairly large sized, green and dark brown striped, with slightly smoky wings, wide but short pterostigmas, distinctly clubbed abdominal tip from foliations on S8.
Key identification features:
- Face is brownish below, greenish above. Head above black, but occiput mostly green.
- Eyes light bluish turquoise, slightly speckled, lending to light brown behind and below
- Thorax yellowish green (stripes) with narrow black stripe. Distinctly marked dorsal thorax pattern with rear facing "U" shape with triangular antihumeral stripes. Well defined yellow markings between wing roots
- Wings slightly smoky. Pterostigmas short (3 mm), wide, dark brown.
- Abdomen mostly dark brown with narrow yellow rings with arrow marked extensions pointing towards the hind margin, (s 7 may be without ring marking) widest on segment 8. Segment 8 with small foliations with finely toothed margins. Segment 9 also with narrow foliations. S 10 constricted in first half, wider in second half. S 1 and 2 spearhead mark dorsally.
- Hamules of secondary genitalia long and spike-like, pointing down and forwards.
- Similar to male, without foliations. Abdomen markings less distinct.
Compared with other species:
- Easily recognised by the yellow band on s 8 and club with small foliations on s8. The only Gomphid with a yellow band on segment 8 (diagnostic)
Distribution and habitat:
- Highly localised Recorded in Norther KZN, Lowveld MP and eastern LP.
- Prefers rivers, and possibly flowing channels in marshes, shaded by gallery forest, but possibly also in open landscapes. Probably often with a soft (like muddy) bottom. From 0 to 1000 m above sea level.
- Solitary species. It hangs from tall grass and low bushes, often many metres away from meandering rivers. It has a low, weak, fluttering flight, frequently settling to hang from vegetation.
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