Two-banded Cruiser. Dubbelbandswalker
Phyllomacromia contumax (Selys, 1879)
|Click to view more images|
Two-banded Cruiser, Phyllomacromia contumax, Genus Phyllomacromia, Family Macromiidae very large sized, all black and yellow with a distinct yellow waist, yellow bands and a wide yellow band near the end of the abdomen
Key identification features:
- Face dark brown with yellow side spots on postclypeus and frons. Two triangular yellow spots present on upper surface of frons and its projections. Head metallic blue above.
- Eyes olive to bright green with yellow margins.
- Thorax dark brown with slight metallic sheen, becoming black above, faint yellow lines and small yellow spots between wings. Small yellow shoulder stripes and thin small yellow line on dorsal carina Yellow lines on hindmargin of doral thorax
- Wing tips very smoky in young individuals, with age becoming overall slightly smoky (not always visible in nature) with small dark brown markings around bases of veins. Pterostigmas short (3 mm in forewing, 2.7 mm in hindwing), deep reddish brown.
- Abdomen narrow, expanded into distinct club at segments 7 to 9, dark brown to black with bright narrow yellow double ring markings at front margin of s 4-6. Viewed from the top these bands are broken in into a form that give the impression of a triangle between the rings Bright yellow ring present on s 3 and 7. S3 split by narrow brown mark towards the rear margin (when viewed from the top) with s7 having a band on the front margin tapering into a tangle on the top hind margin. S 8 -10 all black. Superior appendages small, narrow and black. inferior appendages yellow when viewed through the superior appendages.
- Female similar, stouter and shorter (length 58–60 mm)
- More extensive brown patches at wing bases, wings with darker smoky tips.
Compared with other species:
- With Anax tristi, Black Emperor of the largest black and yellow dragonflies in RSA.
- P. contumax Two-banded Cruiser, is easily recognised on the wing by the long, yellow saddle on S3 and more yellow at base of abdominal club. By S10 lacking the dorsal spine of P. picta and P. Monoceros. P. contumax have no (or occasionally very small) stripes on side of thorax
- P. picta (Darting Cruiser) have broader yellow abdominal bands
- P. Monoceros (Sable Cruiser) is only marginally smaller than P. contumax, Two-banded Cruiser
- P. Monoceros (Sable Cruiser) has almost no (if any very thin) abdominal bands
- P. picta (Darting Cruiser) is smaller than P. contumax, Two-banded Cruiser, and has a more erratic flight.
- P. Contumax, has a plain, dark brown thorax and no spine.
- P. picta (Darting Cruiser) has reddish brown pterostigmas
- P. picta (Darting Cruiser) much smaller than P. monoceros., Sable Cruiser.
- P. picta (Darting Cruiser) spine on S10 is smaller, more backward pointing and less conical than in P. monoceros., Sable Cruiser.
Distribution and habitat:
- Widely accross tropical Africa and in South Africa in Limpopo, Mpumalanga, KZN savanna areas
- Prefers mostly standing waters, but also rivers, large lakes and possibly streams and flowing channels in marshes, in open landscapes, open areas in forest or shaded by gallery forest. Often with coarse detritus, a sandy and/or soft (like muddy) bottom, and probably emergent vegetation.
- From 0 to 1900 m above sea level, but mostly below 1300.
- Mostly cruising up and down forest margins, rarely flying more than 2 m above the ground, often passing close by. Sometimes cruises along lake edges and streams.