100 1145 Rhyothemis semihalina Phantom Flutterer Farm Alicedale Tshipise LP RSA Dec 2015r 1 100 1154 Rhyothemis semihalina Phantom Flutterer Ezemvelo GP RSA Jan 2017r 4 100 1155 Rhyothemis semihalina Phantom Flutterer Ezemvelo GP RSA Jan 2017r 5

Phantom Flutterer.     Fladdergesie

Links to articles and Images:
Short description:

Phantom Flutterer, Rhyothemis semihyalina, Genus Rhyothemis, Family Libellulidae, Small size. Slender with black metallic green black thorax and body. Large, metallic black basal splash on hindwing.

Key identification features:


  • Face is brown in front, and dark metallic colour above, with the labrum blackish brown, anteclypeus and postclypeus dark brown. Frons is bright metallic dimpled bluish purple, lower margin dull yellow.
  • Eyes are dark brown.
  • Thorax slightly metallic greenish black, interspersed with some faint yellow brown patches.
  • Wings are short and wide, especially the hindwings and slightly smoky. The hindwing has uniformly dark antenodal area and a clear postnodal half. The frontwing at most with dark smear near base. The metallic splash in the hindwing is diagnostic.


  • Slightly stouter, otherwise similar in all respects, including basal wing patch.
Similarities with other species:
  • Unmistakable with the very large splashes on the hindwings. Butterfly like flight is diagnostic.
Distribution and habitat:
  • Widespread and common in the eastern coastal regions and the warm northern parts of South Africa. Records are now showing that it is also in the Eastern Cape area.
  • Frequents standing and often temporary waters in open landscapes. Usually with emergent and often aquatic vegetation, and a soft (like muddy) bottom. From 0 to 1800 m above sea level, but mostly below 1500.
  • Distinct butterfly like fluttering flight, landing on lilies or reeds in pool. Often in territorial fights. Sometimes found flying in tree tops.
Further reading:
http://vmus.adu.org.za/vm_map_afr.php?&database=odonata&grid=2&outline=1&key=0&map=4&spp=668370 The Dragonflies and Damselflies of Eastern Africa   p. 194
A Guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa    p. 206
Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa   p. 192
Dragonfly Biotic Index   p. 189
African Dragonflies and Damselflies Online
Warwick Tarboton
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa
Odonata Atlas of Africa VMU Number 668370    
The IUCN Red list of Threatened Species
Other Information:
Size Comparison Diagram: Dragonflies and Damselflies

Identification and Morphology of a Dragonflyor Damselfly
Map of South Africa

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