Rock Hooktail, Paragomphus cognatus, Kliphakiestert

Short description:

Rock Hooktail, Paragomphus cognatus is medium sized, light green, dark brown and yellow with a dark brown and yellow abdomen, with reddish brown club (foliations).

Also known as Boulder Hooktail, Riffle Hooktail

 Family Gomphidae Rambur, 1842

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Key identification features:

Two forms exist. A lighter form mostly is seen in the northern region and a darker form primarily in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and KZN areas but, records of the darker form exist form the Limpopo and northern region. The dark form tends to lack the green colour of the light form, the yellow is much darker and the brown tends towards black.

Male:100 1465 Paragomphus cognatus Rock Hooktail Male Wilgerivier MP RSA Nov 2017r 3

  • In areas of higher rainfall individuals of this species may be darker in colour.
  • Face is mostly all yellow but lighter yellow to white in the lighter northern form. Labrum is yellow with central brown spot and blackish brown basal line, which is strong in darker coloured Western Cape form. Clypeus yellow, Western Cape form may have two dark brown crescent-shaped markings on postclypeus.100 1474 Paragomphus cognatus Rock Hooktail Male Wilgerivier MP RSA Nov 2017r 19  100 1469 Paragomphus cognatus Rock Hooktail Male Wilgerivier MP RSA Nov 2017r 8 Frons is yellow with diffuse brown band in front, which can be bold and distinct in Western Cape form. Head is black with yellow spots above (all black in Western Cape form), back of head yellow.
  • Eyes light greenish grey. 100 1474  Male Wilgerivier MP RSA Nov 2017r 19
  • Thorax with 2 bright yellow to greenish yellow with dark brown stripes with a stripe broken in 3 parts  Between the broken and hind stripes a narrow yellow stripe. In the Western Cape form the brown stripes in the lower region of thorax may be pruinescent. 100 1466 Paragomphus cognatus Rock Hooktail Male Wilgerivier MP RSA Nov 2017r 7 Dorsal thorax pattern indicate a long neck birdlike pattern when looked at from the the hind margin from with a dark brown spot at the "head of the bird followed by a short bullet like pattern ending at the neck.100 1469 Paragomphus cognatus Rock Hooktail Male Wilgerivier MP RSA Nov 2017r 8 100 1472 l Male Wilgerivier MP RSA Nov 2017r 17
  • Wings clear, sometimes slightly smoky in Western Cape form. Pterostigmas black, 3.75 mm long. 100 3564 Paragomphus cognatus Rock Hooktail Male Magoebaskloof LP RSA Jan 2020r 45100 3564 Paragomphus cognatus Rock Hooktail Male Magoebaskloof LP RSA Jan 2020r 45
  • Abdomen alternately black and yellow with small narrow foliations viewed laterally but large widely flared outward when viewed dorsally on segments 8 and 9, foliations yellow with strong blackish brown margins The foliage's may be all dark. S 2 lateral view Brown with  "V" shaped mark. This may be a "cross" shape when young changing with age, Superior appendages are long and down and outward curved at the tips, mainly blackish brown towards the hind 2/3  Inferior appendages are curved and knobby, divergent at their tips when viewed from above darkening to blackish brown towards the hind margin.. 100 1479  Male Wilgerivier MP RSA Nov 2017r 32  100 1481 Paragomphus cognatus Rock Hooktail Male Wilgerivier MP RSA Nov 2017r 38  100 1480 Paragomphus cognatus Rock Hooktail Male Wilgerivier MP RSA Nov 2017r 39  100 1481 Paragomphus cognatus Rock Hooktail Male Wilgerivier MP RSA Nov 2017r 38 

Female:100 3640 Paragomphus elpidius Corckscrew Hooktail Famale Close up Verena MP RSA Jan 2023r 1

  • Female has similar head, 100 1487 Paragomphus cognatus Rock Hooktail Female Wilgerivier MP RSA Nov 2017r 7 thorax 100 1485 Paragomphus cognatus Rock Hooktail Female Wilgerivier MP RSA Nov 2017r 3 , body colour and patterning  100 1484 Paragomphus cognatus Rock Hooktail Female Wilgerivier MP RSA Nov 2017r 1, wings smokier and can be highly smoky in Western Cape form, abdomen stouter, foliations very narrow. 100 1489 Paragomphus cognatus Rock Hooktail Female Wilgerivier MP RSA Nov 2017r 9 100 1490 l Female Wilgerivier MP RSA Nov 2017r 8
  • Habitat:
    • Frequents sandy or gravel margins of rivers, streams, pools perching on rocks or bare gravel ground close to the water's edge.
    • Inferred to occur from 0 to 2400 m above sea level, but mostly below 1700.
    Behaviour:
    • Perching on rocks or bare gravel ground near water
    Comparison Chart

    Click HERE for a comparison chart for the 5 Hooktail species seen in Southern Africa

    Compared with other species:
     Related Species - Hooktails
    Distribution:

    Paragomphus cognatus Rock Hooktail Distribution Map July 2020Distribution Map
    South Africa

    Physical Map South Africa Physical Map South Africa

    Political Map South Africa Political Map
    South Africa

    Paragomphus cognatus Rock Hooktail Africa Distribution Map July 2021Distribution Map
    Africa

    Africa Physical MapPhysical Map
    Africa 

    Political Map AfricaPolitical Map
    Africa

     

     

    South Africa:

    • Widespread and common in South Africa excluding the dry central interior. A dark form is present in the Western Cape.

    Africa:

    •  Democratic Republic of the Congo; Kenya; Malawi; Mozambique; Namibia; Republic of South Africa; Tanzania; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe;
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