St Lucia Basker, Urothemis luciana St Lucia-sonvangertjie
St Lucia Basker, Urothemis Luciana, St Lucia-sonvangertjie is medium-sized, robust, deep red, with jagged deep reddish brown hind wing patches, and dark reddish brown fore wing flares.
Family Libellulidae Leach, 1815
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Key identification features
- All deep red.
- Face and top of head deep brownish red.
- Eyes deep red, almost blackish.
- Thorax deep red with no distinctive markings
- Wings with jagged, reddish brown hind wing patch. Fore wing with amber streaks. 8 - 9 Ax veins
- Pterostigmas 4.2 mm, buff between thick blackish brown veins.
- Abdomen bright deep red, segment 1 blackish above, segments 8 and 9 with blackish smudge running along their tops.
- Appendages red
- Legs black
- Similar to male
- Wing markings, orange and brown rather than red.
- Standing and probably often temporary waters in open landscapes, but sometimes also open areas in forest.
- Usually with emergent vegetation and probably often coarse detritus.
- Only recorded near sea level.
It is a powerful flyer as it wheels above bushes and between trees and only settles on the tops of bushes on cool and overcast days.
Compared with other species:
There are several red coloured species that needs close inspection to identify correctly.
- Aethriamanta rezia, Pygmy Basker: Very small. 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. Fore wing 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 adge 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.
- Rare and only known from coastal northern KwaZulu-Natal. It has also been recorded from southern Mozambique.
- Mozambique; Republic of South Africa