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Amatola Malachite    Amatola Malagiet   Flag of South Africa.svg

Also called Basking Malachite

Family Synlestidae Tillyard, 1917. 
Links to articles and images:

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Short description:

Chlorolestes apricans, Amatola Malachite, medium-sized, with striking, metallic green to copper body with white pruinescent patches on prothorax and synthorax between wing bases. Wings can be clear or banded (Blueish white with brown towards the outside).The smallest Malachite found in South Africa.

Key identification features:


  • Length 34- 36-38mm ♂; 35--37-38mm ♀;wingspan 43-45-46mm ♂;Pterostigmas 1.7-1.8-2.0mm
  • Face is all shiny, metallic green to gold or copper, but genae and center of anteclypeus dull yellow. Labrum metallic green.
  • Eyes are light to dark brown above, light greyish blue below.
  • Prothorax (behind the head), between the wings, and first segment of abdomen develops heavy whitish pruinescence. Thorax is metallic green to gold or copper above, deep yellow to sienna below. Prominent parts of dorsal surface of synthorax between wings are markedly pruinescent whitish-grey.
  • Wings are usually strongly banded black and white, but sometimes clear to slightly smoky.
  • Pterostigmas are yellowish buff, slightly darker on the inside, darkening to all brown with age .Mono-coloured
  • Abdomen is bright metallic green with fine yellow rings at the start of each segment. S1 above and S8-10 above strongly pruinescent.


  • Very similar to male, but wing bases are lightly pruinescent. S1 and s 8 pruinescent, and s 9-10 heavily whitish pruinescent.
Compared with other species:
Distribution and habitat:

http://vmus.adu.org.za/vm_map_afr.php?&database=odonata&grid=2&outline=1&key=0&map=4&spp=660060Endemic to South Africa and highly endangered due to habitat destruction.Inhabits clear,
shallow, rocky streams with riffles and glides and with an abundance of long grass,
herbs and indigenous overhanging bushes (used as oviposition sites).

  • Reluctant flyer, usually seen perching on grass stems or reeds over the edge of streams in full sunshine.
Further reading:
Websites of interest:
Warwick Tarboton
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species   ENDANGERED
Odonata Atlas of Africa VMU Number 660060




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