107 564 Brown Duskhawker Gynacantha villosa Female Lusaka Zambia July 2018r 3107 566 Brown Duskhawker Gynacantha villosa Female Lusaka Zambia July 2018r 4107 563 Brown Duskhajer Femal 2

Brown Duskhawker.     Bruinskemerventer

Family Aeshnidae Leach, 1815

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107 566 Brown Duskhawker Gynacantha villosa Female Lusaka Zambia July 2018r 4ImagesSONY DSCFemale
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Short description:

Very large, mottled dull brown with smoky wings, especially at the base.

Key identification features:

Male:

  • Face olive green. Nose dark brownish olive green with dark brown T-shaped marking above.
  • Eyes olive green above, pale green below, with a yellow hind margin.
  • Thorax relatively unmarked, light greenish brown, distinctly hairy. Rim of metastigma black, contrasting with colour of thorax
  • Wings wings may be tinted (smoky), but without distinct subcostal rays, becoming dark with age. About 22 - 28 antenodal crossveins in forewing. 2  cell-rows between R2 and R3 proximal to Pt, save occasional cell. Anal triangle with 4 cells (3 - 6). Pterostigmas reddish dark brown, 4.5 mm long.
  • Abdomen long, slender, reddish dark brown with emerald saddle on segment 3. S3 waisted near base. Auricles emerald green with black tips and 6 teeth. Ventral carinae S5-6 and usually S4 with denticles (Tooth-like spines), rather than all being bare. Cerci with distinct ventral lump near base (lateral view), widened and sharply cut-off at end, inner border bisinuous, concave roughly 2/3 from base

Female:

  • Female similar to male
  • Abdomen much thicker and with a less to almost no waist at s 3
  • Wings become very smoky with age.
Compared with other species:
  • Very large in size.Larger than Little Duskhawker, G. manderica .
  • Little Duskhawker, G. manderica has 13 - 19 Ax veins in forewing.
  • Eastern Duskhakwer has greenish colouring. rather than the brownish of the Brown Duskhawker.
  • Eastern Duskhawker does not have black rim around the metastigma
  • G villosa has 2, rather than 3 cell-rows between R2 and R3 proximal to Pt, save occasional cell
  • Female G. villosa the only Dukhawker, Gynacantha, with a broad abdomen
Distribution and habitaT:

http://vmus.adu.org.za/vm_map_afr.php?&database=odonata&grid=2&outline=1&key=0&map=4&spp=664270Extremely rare (but due to behaviour new records may be found)
Occurs in humid, dense coastal forest with streams and pools. 
Found in KZN with a recent record in Mpumalanga

Behaviour:
  • Alert as it perches conspicuously on a stick on reed at a pool or river margin, often darting out to defend its territory.
  • Frequently seen on hot days with its abdomen in the upright obelisk position and its wings forward
Further reading:

Websites of interest
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (Least Concern)
Odonata Atlas of Africa VMU Number 664270
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa

 

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