101 520 Lestinogomphus angustus Spined Fairytail Male Nwanedi Dam Tshipise LP RSA March 2016

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Spined Fairytail.     Towerfee

(Martin, 1911)

Short description:

Lestinogomphus angustus, Spined Fairytail, is medium-sized, with a very slender yellowish green to green, and blackish ringed abdomen, bulging at the end and without foliations. The wings are narrow, almost damselfly-like. The thorax is light green and with blackish stripes

Key identification features:

The face is light green with transverse brown line. Eyes are light turquoise green above with light green below. The thorax is light green and spotted with fine, blackish stripes. The wings are narrow, almost damselfly-like, with dark brown pterostigmas. The abdomen is long and narrow with yellowish green to green and black rings. Insignificant club with slightly enlarged S 7-10 and no foliations S 10 is as long as S 8-9 together. S 9-10 is reddish brown to black. Appendages very short and complex with a short dorsal spine midway on the inferior apendages
Females are similar with less intense thorax markings Females also have the long S 10.
Note: The scientific name is derived from the Damselfly, (Zygoptera) family, Lestidae due to the shape of the wings recalling that of a damselfly.


Compared with other species:

This small gomphid is unmistakable in SA. Besides its slender build, narrow wings, general greenish appearance, it has an unmistakable long abdominal S10 with yet very short appendage. The vernacular name describes the inferior appendages which have a dorsal spine midway..

Distribution and habitat:

Uncommon in the northeast and eastern lowveld areas of South Africa. Some records from the northern areas that may be seen as a range extension or as insufficient records to form a clear idea if the actual range in South Africa.
Prefers dense bush or forest adjacent to rivers in warm coastal KZNP, LP savanna, and MP and LP lowveld.


Mostly perches under bushes or trees, resting horizontally along grass or stems. Sometimes uses S10 as a monopod to rest the long abdomen on.

Further reading:

The Dragonflies and Damselflies of Eastern Africa
A Guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa
Odonata Atlas of Africa VMU Number 664880
More about our further reading
More about Dragonfly Anatomy
Map of South Africa

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