Inspector, Chalcostephia flavifrons, Opsigter.

100 2645  Male Bang Neck KZN RSA Mch 2019r 1Male

100 2646 Chalcostephia flavifrons Inspector Male Bang Neck KZN RSA Mch 2019r 2Male

107 543 Inspector Female Phalaborwa GP RSA Oct 2016r 2Female

Short description:

Inspector, Chalcostephia flavifrons, Opsigter. is small, slender, and all powdery blue, with a distinctly yellow face

Also known as Yellow face

Family Libellulidae Leach, 1815

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Key identification features:


  • Frons blackish along sides. Top of frons and top of head distinctly brilliant metallic green, but may appear metallic blue from some angles. Post frons (lower frons) yellow
  • Eyes dark grey above, light grey below.
  • Thorax pruinescent greyish blue. Young males with yellow stripes (blotchy at front) divided by distinct dark grey lines
  • Wings clear to slightly smoky with tips often becoming dark. Wing base brown. Disproportionately long for length of abdomen. Pterostigmas pale yellowish to greyish brown between distinct dark veins, 3.4–3.7 mm long.
  • Abdomen broad tapering sharply from s 8 to narrow claspers. Pruinescent greyish blue with some yellow markings when young.


  • Yellow face and metallic on top of head
  • Pterostigmas pale
  • Body yellowish and heavily marked in dark brown especially upper surfaces of thorax and abdomen.
  • Abdomen broad tapering from s 4.
  • Eggs of the Genus Chalcostephia oddly, has bright blue-green
  • Prefer the fringes of warm savanna pools, pools in association with humid coastal forest and with some cover. Adults are often found sheltering inside forest, sometimes in great numbers. Breeding mainly in open marsh
  • From 0 to 1800 m above sea level, but mostly below 900, although possibly up to 2100.
  • It perches usually about 1.5–2.0 m from the ground, on the end of twigs extending from the tree canopy or tall grass at the pool edge.
  • It Perches in a conspicuous position from where it watches all around by constantly moving its head at different angles. This behaviour gave it the name Inspector.
Compared with other species:<
  • Similar to African Piedspot, Hemistigma albipunctum, by older males uniformly grey but  H. albipunctum with yellow marking on lower abdomen. Differs by; (a) Frons metallic Green only to the antifrons (b) pterostigmas pale greyish brown between distinctly dark veins compared to bi-coloured of H. albipunctum; (c) face yellow; (d)wings has no dark markings between subcostal veins; (e) wingtips of females clear to slightly darkened


Chalcostephia flavifrons Inspector Distribution Map July 2020Distribution Map
South Africa
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Chalcostephia flavifrons Inspector Distribution Map AfricaDistribution Map
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South Africa:

  • Localised along the KZN coastal area , MP and LP Lowveld.  


  • Angola; Benin; Botswana; Burkina Faso; Côte d'Ivoire; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Congo-Brazzaville; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Equatorial Guinea; Ethiopia; Gabon; Gambia; Ghana; Guinee-Bissau; Kenya; Liberia; Malawi; Mali; Mozambique; Namibia; Nigeria; Republic of Guinea; Republic of South Africa; Rwanda; Senegal; Sierra Leone; South Sudan; Tanzania; Togo; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Further reading: