Southern Banded Groundling. Gebande Grondwagter.
Also known as the Banded Groundling
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Key identification features:
- Face brownish. Labrum, anteclypeus and postclypeus mostly dark brown with some paler areas.
- Front of frons and top of head shiny black and dimpled, side of frons light grey with central black spot.
- Eyes mostly brownish black with some grey below. Upper eye has distinctive brown stripes
- 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
- Yellowish with brown and grey eyes.
- Blotched brown marks on thorax. Blotching tends to be well defined when young
- Yellowish pterostigmas (diagnostic) which are dark brown in outer quarter.
- Abdomen is yellow with dark stripes along top and sides.Diagnostic
- 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.
- The Banded Groundling was recently split into two species. The Southern Banded Groundling and the Northern Banded Groundling.
- Additional reading Material
Kindred spirits: “Brachythemis leucosticta”, Africa’s most familiar dragonfly, consists of two species (Odonata: Libellulidae).
Paper by Klaas-Douwe B. Dijkstra1 & Nataly Matushkina
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.
- 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.