Pantala, Pantala flavescens, Narbroekie.

102 509   2016 11 13 badplaas Male
102 509 2016 11 13 badplaas r1Female
100 833Female Moreletta GP RSA Oct 2016r 3Female

Short description:

Pantala, Pantala flavescens is fairly large sized, light orange with a tapered abdomen with distinctive black bowl shaped markings at the hind margin

Also known as Wondering Glider, Globe Skimmer

Family Libellulidae Leach, 1815

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Key identification features:

Male:

  • Face and top of head is light yellow and light brown.  100 1660 Pantala flavescens Pantala Male Close up RNR GP RSA Dec 2017r 16  100 1659 Pantala flavescens Pantala Male Close up RNR GP RSA Dec 2017r 15
  • Eyes are reddish brown above, mottled light grey, dark grey and pale yellow below. 100 1659 Pantala flavescens Pantala Male Close up RNR GP RSA Dec 2017r 15  100 1658 Pantala flavescens Pantala Male Close up RNR GP RSA Dec 2017r 12
  • Thorax is dull greenish orange above, greyish at sides with a few sparse dark brown markings (Indicting colouring and markings}.  100 1654 Pantala flavescens Pantala Male Close up RNR GP RSA Dec 2017r 5  100 1656 Pantala flavescens Pantala Male Close up RNR GP RSA Dec 2017r 9
  • Wings are long, pointed and clear, sometimes with small diffuse amber areas especially at tips. 100 1665 Pantala flavescens Pantala Male Close up RNR GP RSA Dec 2017r 25 Pterostigmas pale brown, 2.8–2.9 mm in fore wings, 2.2 mm in hind wings. 
  • Abdomen is pointed fuselage-shape. 100 1663 Pantala flavescens Pantala Male Close up RNR GP RSA Dec 2017r 21   100 1661 Pantala flavescens Pantala Male Close up RNR GP RSA Dec 2017r 19 S2-8 dull orange with some irregular dark elongated arrow shaped brown patches that increase in size and intensity towards end of abdomen, becomes reddish in some older individuals. 100 1664 Pantala flavescens Pantala Male Close up RNR GP RSA Dec 2017r 24  S 8-9 has black bowl shaped mark. 100 1662 Pantala flavescens Pantala Male Close up RNR GP RSA Dec 2017r 20 S10 a small round black mark markings. Appendages are long, dark brown.

Female:

  • Similar to male, 100 1645 Pantala flavescens Pantala Female Hertzogberg MP RSA Nov 2017r 3  but browner and stouter with the dorsal abdominal 100 1646 Pantala flavescens Pantala Female Hertzogberg MP RSA Nov 2017r 5  markings more distinct than male. 100 1650 Pantala flavescens Pantala Female Hertzogberg MP RSA Nov 2017r 12  100 1651 Pantala flavescens Pantala Female Hertzogberg MP RSA Nov 2017r 16
  • Male abdomen may be orange compared to female, Female abdomen may become more orange with age
  • Claspers Long and slim compared to male. Often the only distinction between male and female
Habitat
  • Known is the insect that travels the longest distances over water (sea)
  • Standing and mostly temporary waters in open landscapes. Often with bare banks. From 0 to 2800 m above sea level, but mostly below 1900
Behaviour:
  • Breeds in warm, shallow, grassy temporary pools, although it is usually on the wing in bushy areas, especially bushy savanna, where it often flies in groups.
  • It wheels and glides, sometimes singly but usually in groups, which may include other species such as the Gliders.
  • It flies in open areas between bushes and trees, and also along roadsides and in gardens or over swimming pools.
  • Male and female mates in the air and then female will oviposit while coupled by dropping eggs in the water by touching ovipositor on the water. Also seen ovipositing on shiny surfaces like vehicles
Compared with other species:
  • Similar to Tramea basilaris, (Keyhole Glider)  100 1666 Tramea basilaris Keyhole Glider Male Loskopdam MP RSA Nov 2017r 1 , Tramea limbata. (Ferruginous Glider)  100 1142 Trame limbata Ferruginous Glider Hluhluwe KZN RSA Mch 2017r 2  and Urothemis assignata, (Red Basker) 100 670 Urothemis assignata Red Basker Male Kozibay KZN RSA MCH 2018r 2 but has no wing markings and different dorsal abdominal patterns.
  • Colour is more yellow in females and yellow with orange and yellow abdomen in males.
 Distribution:
Distribution MapJune 2020Distribution Map
South Africa
Physical Map South Africa Physical Map
South Africa
Political Map South AfricaPolitical Map
South Africa
Sympetrum fonscolombii Nomad Distribution Map Africa Dec 2021Distribution Map
South Africa
Physical Map AfricaPhysical Map
Africa
Political Map AfricaPolitical Map
Africa

South Africa:

  • Pantala, Pantala flavescens is a wanderer and a migrant and occurs throughout southern Africa.
    Found on all continents except Antarctica

Africa:

  • Pantala, Pantala flavescens is a wanderer and a migrant and occurs throughout southern Africa.
    Found on all continents except Antarctica

 Further reading:

Websites:
VM OdonataMAP logo 108x90 RGB tr  Odonata Atlas of Africa Number 668230
 D D ID 
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa
  IUCN
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species  Least Concern   IUCN Leasrt Concern
addo  African Dragonflies & Damselflies Online