Coastal Pennant, Macrodiplax cora, Kuswimpel.

118 503 Macrodiplax cora Coastal Penant Male Kosi Bay KZN Apr 2016r 1

118 512 Macrodiplax cora Coastal Penant Male Mpempe Pan KZN Mch 2017r 2

118 513 Macrodiplax cora Coastal Penant Male Mpempe Pan KZN Mch 2017r 3

Short description:

Coastal Pennant, Macrodiplax cora, Kuswimpel Medium sized, deep reddish brown with a dark band across the face, bright red abdomen with a with a broad black mid-dorsal line extending from base to tip broadening slightly towards the superior appendages.

Family Libellulidae Leach, 1815

Also known as Coastal Glider, Wandering Pennant, Cora’s Pennant, Estuarine Skimmer (India).

More images:
118 503 t Male Kosi Bay KZN Apr 2016r 1Image Gallery
118 515 Macrodiplax cora Coastal Penant Male Mpempe Pan KZN Mch 2017r 5Male
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Click on all images to enlarge or view more

Key identification features:

Male:

  • Face and top of head is deep reddish brown with darker band across postclypeus.
  • Eyes are large, deep red above, reddish brown and grey below.
  • Thorax is deep reddish brown with dark brown markings.
  • Wings are clear, except for small amber patch at base of hind wings.
  • Pterostigmas are reddish brown 2.8mm.
  • Abdomen is bright red with strongly contrasting black stripe of varying width, broken at each segment joint into hour glass-like markings.

Female:

  • Light orange-yellow thorax and abdomen. 
  • Immature male looks similar to the female except that its colours is a little darker.
Habitat:
  • Standing waters in open landscapes, predominantly coastal pools in marshland among or near coastal bush. Usually with emergent vegetation, often coarse detritus and a soft (like muddy) bottom, and probably tolerant of brackish water.
  • Recorded mostly near sea level, but possibly up to 400 m.
Behaviour:
  • Perches on twigs and makes frequent dashes out and returns to its perch, occasionally, they would fight one another but returned to the same perch.
Compared with other species:
  • Similar to the Blue Basker, U. edwardsii, but different in colour. 100 666 Urothemis edwardsii Blue Basker Marlothpark April 2015 r 5
  • Can be mistaken for the Gliders (Keyhole and Ferruginous), Tramea basilaris 100 1669 Tramea basilaris Keyhole Glider Male Loskopdam MP RSA Nov 2017r 12 and Tramea limbata.100 1142 Trame limbata Ferruginous Glider Hluhluwe KZN RSA Mch 2017r 2 The Red Basker has bigger patches than the Ferruginous Glider and the Keyhole Glider has keyhole shaped patches.
  • There are several red coloured species that needs close inspection to identify correctly.
    • Aethriamanta rezia, Pygmy Basker: 118 500 1Aethriamanta rezia Enseleni 2 1  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:  100 670 Urothemis assignata Red Basker Male Kozibay KZN RSA MCH 2018r 2 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: 118 503 Macrodiplax cora Coastal Penant Male Kosi Bay KZN Apr 2016r 1  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, 100 1666 Tramea basilaris Keyhole Glider Male Loskopdam MP RSA Nov 2017r 1 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,  100 1142 Trame limbata Ferruginous Glider Hluhluwe KZN RSA Mch 2017r 2 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. 100 626 Tholymis tillarga Twister Male Tshipise LP RSA MCH 2016r 4  Hind wings with dark brown patch just inside nodus in front half, with white patch outside of it and diffuse amber area inside it. Fore wings with diffuse amber area at bases of wings. Abdomen tapered, light red. Appendages long, red, black at tips.
Distribution:
Macrodiplax cora Coastal Pennant Distribution Map June 2020
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

South Africa:

  • Found from the western Pacific to the eastern African coast,  with small numbers observed on the South Africa  north east coast. More demographic data is required to establish the true presence in coastal eastern Africa. Current data is indicating a larger presence than previously estimated.

Male:

  •  Republic of South Africa; Socotra (Yemen); Somalia
Further reading:

Websites:
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa
Odonata of India
Dragonflies and Damselflies of Vietnam
Dragonflies and Damselflies of Singapore
Atlas of Living Australia
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species    Least concern
Odonata Atlas of Africa VMU Number 667420

X

Right Click

Copyrighted material - contact us if you want to buy a photo