Eastern Forestwatcher. Boswagter
Also known as Eastern Elf
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Small, alert, greyish, grizzled, with whitish splash near tip of abdomen, bright turquoise eyes.
Key identification features:
- Face and labrum cream and light blue. Anteclypeus grey distinctly bat-like shaped, postclypeus greyish cream. Frons light blue in front, with grey and yellow blotches on sides, top of frons adjacent to top of head deeply grooved, groove blackish inside with frons bright metallic bluish green at edges. Head bright metallic bluish green above.
- Eyes striking bright turquoise, grayish below.
- Thorax striped dark blue/black and turquoise above becoming yellowish turquoise at the lower margins. Area between wings dark blue/black with turquoise spots. Wing base brown. Dorsal thorax distinct dark blue/black and turquoise mask-like pattern (Batman Mask)
- Wings clear to slightly smoky with very small dark brown splash at base of each hindwing. Tips darker amber Discodial cell shaped like a equilateral triangle (Diagnostic for male and female). Pterostigmas dark reddish brown, 2 mm long in forewing, 2.4 mm long in hindwing .
- Abdomen slender, slightly bulbous at end, blackish with variable grayish blue or turquoise patches on the lateral side and dots at the segment front margin. Segment 7 has conspicuous light turquoise ring with black stripe on dorsal carina and 2 indentations on the dorsal side hind margin.
- Strong patterned light yellowish, light reddish and dark brown thorax and abdomen with dorsal cream patch on S7, although not as conspicuous as in male. Patterns resembles male patterns
- Eyes light grey blue.
Compared with other species:
Unmistakable, with its small size, grizzled grey colour, bright turquoise eyes, and distinctive turquoise splash on S7.
Distribution and habitat:
Found in Mozambique, South Africa coastal areas and Mpumalange and Limpopo lowveld, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Standing and often temporary waters, but possibly also streams, shaded by (sometimes gallery) forest. Often pools in
stream beds, usually with coarse detritus and often a soft (like muddy) bottom, and probably also overhanging branches
From 300 to 2300 m above sea level, but mostly between 500 and 1600.
- Very alert. Perches conspicuously on reeds or twigs over water in dappled shade. Female very rarely seen.
Further reading and other information:
Odonata Atlas of Africa Number 667730
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species Least Concern Least Concern
African Dragonflies & Damselflies Online