100 153 Lestes virgatus Smokey Spreadwing Male Mabusa Nature Reserve MP RSA Dec 2017r 11 100 151 Lestes virgatus Smokey Spreadwing Male Mabusa Nature Reserve MP RSA Dec 2017r 9 100 008 Lestes virgatus Smokey Spreadwing Male Kimiad Pretoria GP RSA Oct 2015 r 6

Smoky Spreadwing.     Rookspanvlerkie.

Family Lestidae Calvert, 1901
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100 011 Lestes virgatus Smokey Spreadwing Male Kimiad Pretoria GP RSA Oct 2015 r 9Images100 139 Lestes virgatus Smokey SpreadwingMaler Close up Kimiad Pretoria NGP RSA Dec 2015r 4Male

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Short Description:

Fairly large, slender, dull metallic green, striped, and with distinctly smoky wings. The only metallic green spread wing,

Key identification features:

Male

  • Thorax slender, multi-coloured , metallic green, yellowish brown and dark brown with a buff stripe on the side of the thorax.
  • Eyes blue (diagnostic)A
  • Wings dark smoky wings. Short pterostigmas are distinctly swollen with a buff center and a dark rim.
  • Abdomen is above dark metallic green with partial yellowish rings on S 2-7. Only S 9 pruinescent. S 10 and superior appendages blackish Superior appendages has large coarse teeth along the inner edge. Inferior appendages are pyramid shaped.

Female

  • Stouter than male, reddish and blackish brown, also with striped thorax; underside of thorax buff
  • Wings less smoky bthan male’s.
Compared with other species:
  • The only metallic green Lestes. It has smoky wings and blue eyes. The pterostigmas swollen and pale centred.
Distribution and habitat:

Distribution MapFrom S Cape eastwards through KZN to the northern parts of South Africa
This is a highly seasonal species. It has been recorded from pools and
swamps edges mostly in the tall grass and sedge in forest or woodland.

Mainly a highland species.

Behaviour:
  • Hangs with wings outstretched from grass stems. Lays egs in the stems of sedge grass.
Further reading:
Websites of interest:
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Odonata Atlas of Africa. VMU Number 660300
Wikipedia

 

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