100 2004 Brachythemis leucosticta Banded Groundling Male RNR GP RSA Jan 2016r 1 100 1979 Brachythemis leucosticta Banded Groundling Farmstay RSA Dec 2017r 1 100 1732 Brachythemis leucosticta Banded Groundling Female Welgevonden RSA Dec 2017r 1

Southern Banded Groundling.     Gebande Grondwagter.

Brachythemis leucosticta (Burmeister, 1839)

Also known as the Banded Groundling

Links to our images and articles:
Images Male (Young) Female Female
100 2004 Brachythemis leucosticta Banded Groundling Male RNR GP RSA Jan 2016r 1 100 1993 Brachythemis leucosticta Banded Groundling Male RNR GP RSA Oct 2016r 1 100 1981 Brachythemis leucosticta Banded Groundling RNR GP RSA Nov 2016r 2 Brachythemis leucosticta Banded Groundling Female Close up Ezemvelo GP RSA Nov 2019
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Guides:

A Guide to Identify Groundlings (Genus Brachythemis)

Short description:

Banded Groundling, Brachythemis leucosticta, Genus BrachythemisFamily Libellulidae, medium sized, black-bodied with unmistakable black bands on each wing and yellowish pterostigmas.

Key identification features:

Male: 100 2004 Brachythemis leucosticta Banded Groundling Male RNR GP RSA Jan 2016r 1

  • Face brownish. Labrum, anteclypeus and postclypeus mostly dark brown with some paler areas. 100 1996 Brachythemis leucosticta Banded Groundling Male RNR GP RSA Oct 2016r 7
  • Front of frons and top of head shiny black and dimpled, side of frons light grey with central black spot.100 1995 Brachythemis leucosticta Banded Groundling Male RNR GP RSA Oct 2016r 5
  • Eyes mostly brownish black with some grey below. Upper eye has distinctive brown stripes 100 1996 Brachythemis leucosticta Banded Groundling Male RNR GP RSA Oct 2016r 7
  • Thorax all charcoal.
  • Wings each with wide black band between nodus and pterostigma, runs from front margin to hind margin, appears brownish when viewed from certain angles. Pterostigmas pale yellow, brown towards outer edge, becoming deeper brown with age.
  • Abdomen charcoal.
  • Young males similar to females. Develops band on wings before thorax and abdomen darkens to charcoal grey

Female: 100 1732 Brachythemis leucosticta Banded Groundling Female Welgevonden RSA Dec 2017r 1

  • Eyes are brownish grey with dark and light brown stripes on top and grey below 100 1996 Brachythemis leucosticta Banded Groundling Male RNR GP RSA Oct 2016r 7  100 2877 Brachythemis leucosticta Banded Groundling Female Close up Ezemvelo GP RSA Nov 2019r 10  100 2878 Brachythemis leucosticta Banded Groundling Female Close up Ezemvelo GP RSA Nov 2019r 12
  • Thorax blotched (mottled) with brown (light and dark) marks . Blotching tends to be well defined when young 100 1994 Brachythemis leucosticta Banded Groundling Male RNR GP RSA Oct 2016r 3 Yellow becoming dark mustard colour  with age
  • Yellowish pterostigmas (diagnostic), dark brown in outer quarter.Brachythemis leucosticta Banded Groundling Female Close up Ezemvelo GP RSA Nov 2019
  • Abdomen is yellow with dark stripes along top and sides.(Diagnostic) 100 1998 Brachythemis leucosticta Banded Groundling Male RNR GP RSA Oct 2016r 9
  • Young male are similar to females but will develop the black wing marks with age The abdomen change to dark after the black wing marks becomes visible.
Note:
Compared with other species:
  • Mature males are unmistakable due to the wing markings.
  • The yellow pterostigmas is diagnostic for the Banded Groundling.
  • Females and young males may be mistaken for some Dropwing species as well as the Banded Duskdarter, Parazyxomma flavicans
  • Female similar to female Red Groundling (B. lacustris) except on (B. lacustris) the lateral abdomen stripe is light brown and thorax less defined mottled
Distribution and habitat:
  • Found in the warm northern and eastern areas of South Africa.
  • Frequents pools, small dams and waterholes in open or savanna areas. Such pools may be without water weed or fringing vegetation.
Behaviour:
  • Hawks from the ground (preferred) or from vegetation in, near or away from the water.
  • Inconspicuous on the ground but easily observed when disturbed.
  • Will follow an observer or animals, hawking on prey disturbed by the animals or observers.
  • Often found in large numbers.
Further reading:
http://vmus.adu.org.za/vm_map_afr.php?&database=odonata&grid=2&outline=1&key=0&map=4&spp=667030 Books
A Guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa .  p 184
Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa ... p 175
Dragonfly Biotic Index ... p 172
Dragonflies and Damselflies of Namibia ... p 176

The Dragonflies and Damselflies of Eastern Africa ... P. 162
Websites of interest:
Warwick Tarboton

A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa
Odonata Atlas of Africa VMU Number 667030
African Dragonflies and Damselflies Online
The IUCN Red list of threatened Species Least Concern
Other Information:
Size Comparison Diagram: Dragonflies and Damselflies

Morphology of a Dragonfly and Damselfly
Map of South Africa

 

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