Pygmy Basker, Aethriamanta rezia, Dwergsonvangertjie
Family Libellulidae Leach, 1815
Pygmy Basker, Aethriamanta rezia, Dwergsonvangertjie is very small to small sized, brilliant red with a black ladder pattern along the abdomen, with broad amber patches at the base of the hind wing.
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Very small to small sized, brilliant red with a black ladder pattern along the abdomen, with broad amber patches at the base of the hind wing.
Key identification features:
- Face and the top of the head is light red. Eyes are mottled grey, blackish and brown with red cap
- Thorax is deep red with black shoulder stripes and irregular black narrow side stripes. Black legs.
- Wings have dark brown basal streaks. Hind wings have additional small patch just behind flares and the flares are surrounded by an amber halo. 6 Ax veins in fore wing. Last Ax vein complete Pterostigmas (2 mm) is reddish brown, almost red, between thick blackish veins
- Abdomen is wide, bright red with regular black ladder running along entire top. Segment 1 is blackish. Superior appendages are red
- Light orange with dark brown markings, including ladder along abdomen bases of all wings with amber patches
Distribution and habitat:
- Prefers open well-vegetated marshes, which especially likes floating plants like Salvinia (commonly known as giant salvinia or kariba weed) and Pistia (often called water cabbage, water lettuce,
Nile cabbage, or shellflower), reedy pools, slow streams and rivers, and lake shores with dense aquatic vegetation
- From 0 to 1700 m above sea level, but mostly below 1300.
- After coupling the male guides the female in tandem to the oviposit site, where he releases her
- Alert and conspicuous species that perches on the tips of twigs or reeds at the water’s edge hunting with rapid short flight
Compared with other species:
There are several red coloured species that needs close inspection to identify correctly.
- Aethriamanta rezia, Pygmy Basker: Very small sized. Eyes brown with red cap on top, mottled grey below. Thorax with black shoulder stripe. Legs black. Wings all with small dark brown flares at the base, hind wings with additional small patch just behind flares, flares are surrounded by amber halo. 6 Ax veins. Pterostigmas reddish brown 2mm. Abdomen wide, bright red with regular black ladder running along entire top. Segment 1 blackish. Superior appendages red.
- Urothemis assignata, Red Basker: Stout, bright red. Eyes deep red above, mottled dark and light grey below. Legs light red. Hind wings have large dark red angular basal patches with amber hallow. Forewing has small traces of amber at the base. Wing veins red. Pterostigma yellow brown 4mm. Last Ax vein complete. Abdomen segments 5 -9 have black above with median ladder-like stripe of uneven width, widest on s 8 - 9. Appendages of moderate length, red.
- Macrodiplax cora. Coastal Pennant: Wings clear, except for small amber patch at base of hind wings. Abdomen bright red with along top strongly contrasting black hour glass shaped stripe of varying width, broken at each segment joint.
- Tramea basilaris, Keyhole Glider, Hind wing patches distinctive keyhole shaped. Thorax dull orange above dark brownish grey with dark brown areas along the side. Abdomen segment 8 triangular shaped mark, S 9 -10 black above. Superior appendages long, dark brown with light base.
- Tramea limbata, Ferrugginous Glider, Hind wing patches distinctive elongated, narrow shaped dark panels close to basel edge of the wing that may appear black in flight. long brown claspers
- Tholymis tillarga, Twister. Hind wings with dark brown patch just inside nodus in front half, with white patch outside of it and diffuse amber area inside it. Forewings with diffuse amber area at bases of wings. Abdomen tapered, light red. Appendages long, red, black at tips.
- Occurs in the northern part of the region southwards to coastal Natal
- Angola; Benin; Botswana; Burkina Faso; Côte d'Ivoire; Cameroon; Congo-Brazzaville; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Gabon; Gambia; Ghana; Guinee-Bissau; Kenya; Liberia; Malawi; Mali; Mozambique; Namibia; Nigeria; Republic of Guinea; Republic of South Africa; Rwanda; Senegal; Sierra Leone; South Sudan; Tanzania; Togo; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe
- The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species Least concern
- A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa