Sable Cruiser, Phyllomacromia monoceros , Swartswalker

101 654   Young Female Nwanedi LP RSA SEP 2016

 Young Female Nwanedi LP RSA SEP 2016


Short description:

Sable Cruiser, Phyllomacromia monoceros, Swartswalker is very large sized, with metallic black and yellow coloration with a pronounced clubtail and long vertical spine at the end of the abdomen (s 10).

 Previously known or also known as the Unicorn Cruiser or Black Cruiser

 Family Macromiidae      (Needham, 1903)

More Images:

Phyllomacromia monoceros Sable Cruiser Young Female Nwanedi LP RSA SEP 2016Image

Phyllomacromia monoceros Sable Cruiser RSAMale









Click on all images to enlarge or view more 

Key identification features:

Male:   Phyllomacromia monoceros Sable Cruiser RSA

  • Face is brownish to olive becoming yellow laterally. Frons is dark brown, slightly metallic with a diffuse, yellow spot on top. Vertex is metallic bluish-black. 107 577 Phyllomacromia monoceros Sable Cruiser RSA r 4
  • Eyes are turquoise, bluish above, more greenish below. 107 577 Phyllomacromia monoceros Sable Cruiser RSA r 4 Phyllomacromia monoceros Sable Cruiser RSA
  • Thorax is dark brown and greenish yellow striped, with slight sheen on dark areas. Antehumeral stripe always complete Phyllomacromia monoceros Sable Cruiser RSA
  • Wings are clear to smoky. Hind wing 34-42 mm. Costa largely black, not contrasting with pterostigmas
  • Abdomen is narrow with a club from s7-9. Largely dark brown to black with a small yellow saddle on s2, and small yellow spots. Black of genital lobe and dorsum s2 usually connected by black bar 107 575 Phyllomacromia monoceros Sable Cruiser RSA r 6, although s5-6 almost completely black. First third of s7 with yellow ring. s8- 10, and superior appendages black 107 576 Phyllomacromia monoceros Sable Cruiser RSA r 2. S9 with a backward-pointing spine, and s10 with a huge, conical, upright spine 107 578 Phyllomacromia monoceros Sable Cruiser RSA r 7 . S10 without tooth at base of peak 


  • Similar but much stouter and marginally larger.
  • Streams shaded by forest. Often with coarse detritus and a sandy, soft (like muddy) and/or probably gravelly bottom, and probably submerged roots. 
  • Inferred to occur from 0 to 2000 m above sea level.
  • Perches very conspicuously on tips of sedge or reeds in open water. Often seen cruising among treas in open clearings
Compared with other species:

Phyllomacromia monoceros Sable Cruiser Distribution Map July 2020 Map

Phyllomacromia monoceros Sable Cruiser Africa Distribution Map Mch 2021









South Africa:

  • Very rare and localised in the north and north eastern escarpment mountains and adjacent hillsides of Limpopo- and Mpumalanga Provinces.


  •  Democratic Republic of the Congo; Kenya; Malawi; Mozambique; Republic of South Africa; Tanzania; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Further reading:


Credit for description and comparison to Michael J Samways