Corkscrew Hooktail Paragomphus elpidius Slingerhakiestert
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Key identification features:
- Eyes are pale greyish blue. Labrum is pale yellow, at most vaguely darkened at base with indistinct brownish basal band.
- Thorax is yellow to green with more prominent brown to black markings that on the metastigma ends just dorsal of it, The brown stripe forms a narrow "V" Dorsal thorax marking bright and well defined.
- Pterostigmas are brown, not contrasting with black veins
- Abdomen is black with yellow partial rings. S8-9 has broad foliations. S 9 = 10 in length. Upper claspers (cerci) slender, apex is blunt, without or with one tooth. Without distinct ventral ridge; Lower clasper (epiproct) about 1/3 as long as upper clasper (cerci).
- Female similar, slightly smoky wings, thicker abdomen, very narrow foliations, markings are less distinctive.
- S2 has a "sickle" shaped marking pointing towards the thorax. Diagnostic
Compared with other species:
- In the field it is difficult to distinguish between Common Hooktail, Paragomphus genei, Corkscrew Hooktail, P. elpidius.
- Rock Hooktail P. cognatus also have similarities but can be identified by the appendages curving outwards at the tip
Click on this link for an identification aid comparison table for identifying P. elpidius, P. genei and P. cognatus.
Distribution and habitat:
Found in KZN, MP, LP and GP (Recorded in the WCP
Found mostly at rivers, but also streams, shaded by gallery forest, but sometimes in open landscapes.
Often with rocks and streams with a sandy gravel open areas, near faster sections.
From 0 to 1400 m above sea level, but mostly between 200 and 1100.
- Alert as it perches conspicuously on a stick on reed at a pool or river margin, often darting out to defend its territory.
- Frequently seen on hot days with its abdomen in the upright obelisk position and its wings forward