Bold Skimmer, Orthetrum stemmale, Koenieskepper

100 2056 Male Ndumu Mch 2017r 4
100 700   Old Female Kozi Bay KZN Mch 2017r 2
101 560  LP RSA Mar 2012
Short description:

Bold Skimmer, Orthetrum stemmale, Koenieskepper, is fairly large, robust and pruinescent greyish blue.stripe between the wings.

Also known as Strong Skimmer

Family Libellulidae Leach, 1815
More Images:

Orthetrum stemmale Bold Skimmerl Male Ndumu Mch 2017r 7Image
Gallery

 Orthetrum stemmale Bold Skimmer Male Close up Kozibay KZN RSA Mch 2019Male

Orthetrum stemmale Bold Skimmer Male Cape Vidal KZN Apr 2016Young Male

Orthetrum stemmale Bold Skimmer Teneral Male Tshipise LP RSA May 2016Male
Tenaral

100 2571 Orthetrum stemmale Bold Skimmer Male Close up Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2018r 3Male
Dark variation

100 2519 Orthetrum stemmale Bold Skimmer Female Close up Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2019r 2Female

Orthetrum stemmale Bold Skimmer Kozi Bay KZN Mch 2017Female

Orthetrum stemmale Bold Skimmer Female MP RSA Nov 2016Female
Teneral

 

 

Click on all images to enlarge or view more

Key identification features:

Male:  100 2060  Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2018r 6

  • Length 43 - 46 - 50mm: wingspan 64 - 72 - 81mm
  • Note: Many of the described features may become dull or disappear with age, due to pruinosity  100 2548 Orthetrum stemmale Bold Skimmer Male Close up Kozibay KZN RSA Mch 2019r 1
  • Face cream to greyish. Frons greyish, frontal area raised with spectacles outlined in light grey. A most with dorsal dark markings running down onto shields. Labrum often with black border rather than all pale. Head dull black and dimpled with strong peaks above. 100 730  Male Cape Vidal KZN Apr 2016r 14
  • Eyes dull turquoise, becoming brown below. 100 724  Male Cape Vidal KZN Apr 2016r 10
  • Thorax mostly dark pruinescent grey with no stripes, shoulder dark brown with lighter brown stripe showing through pruinescence, light grey pruinescent stripe runs along top between wings. Dorsal stripe of the metepimeron  (do not always happen) leans back and joins the carina forming a dark ring with a pale centre. (if visible diagnostic). When younger, thorax greenish brown. with broad "M" shaped yellow bands with blackish lines demarcating the "M" shape  Humeral stripe forms a distinct 3 pronged pitchfork mark viewed obliquely from the front This will pruinose with age leaving the middle too of the "pitch fork" for the last to disappear 100 2550 Orthetrum stemmale Bold Skimmer Male Close up Kozibay KZN RSA Mch 2019r 4
  • Well defined light green/ creamy markings between the wings when young. Pruinose to a grey/blue when old with no stripe 100 2559 Orthetrum stemmale Bold Skimmer Male Close up Kozibay KZN RSA Mch 2019r 22
  • Wings clear, becoming smoky with age. Basel amber patch. 2 cell-rows in radial planate, sum of cell-doublings in all wings 11-29 [4-29].  Subcostal Ax dark (pale locally in coastal Mozambique and possibly northern KZN) 100 2560 Orthetrum stemmale Bold Skimmer Male Close up Kozibay KZN RSA Mch 2019r 23
  • Pterostigmas deep yellowish brown becoming darker brown towards front. Pt usually 3 mm or longer, 10% of hind wing length or more (3.7 mm long in fore wing, 3.9 mm long in hind wing). Costa yellow. 100 2560 Orthetrum stemmale Bold Skimmer Male Close up Kozibay KZN RSA Mch 2019r 23
  • Abdomen  usually shorter than hind wing (if longer, S4-6 with transverse bands) Pale pruinescent blue. 100 2556 Male Close up Kozibay KZN RSA Mch 2019r 14  Pale markings on S4-6 form transverse subapical bands, longitudinal streaks closer to dorsal than lateral carina, or segments largely pale.  S7-9 dark but reduce to pruinose with old age. 100 2558 Male Close up Kozibay KZN RSA Mch 2019r 19  S 10 white. Appendages white but darkens to brownish white with age. Very tips of cerci Black . 100 2556 Orthetrum stemmale Bold Skimmer Male Close up Kozibay KZN RSA Mch 2019r 14
  • Old male must preferably be identified by secondary genitalia 100 2554 Orthetrum stemmale Bold Skimmer Male Close up Kozibay KZN RSA Mch 2019r 11

Females: 100 2067 Orthetrum stemmale Bold Skimmer Female Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2018r 3

  • Young males and females are the same in appearance with many of the female-like feature disappearing from the males with age 100 2519 Orthetrum stemmale Bold Skimmer Female Close up Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2019r 2 100 722 Orthetrum stemmale Bold Skimmer Male Cape Vidal KZN Apr 2016r 7      
  • Female thorax greenish brown. with broad "M" shaped yellow bands with blackish lines demarcating the "M" shape 100 2520 Orthetrum stemmale Bold Skimmer Female Close up Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2019r 3 Humeral stripe forms a distinct 3 pronged pitchfork mark viewed obliquely from the front.  100 2521 Orthetrum stemmale Bold Skimmer Female Close up Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2019r 7
  • Wings slightly smokey with small basel amber marks. 100 2529 Orthetrum stemmale Bold Skimmer Female Close up Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2019r 18
  • Abdomen yellowish brown with fine blackish line along top and at side carinas. 100 2524 Orthetrum stemmale Bold Skimmer Female Close up Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2019r 12  S 9 - 10 Blackish brown. Small yellow patch in lateral view on middle lower margin of s 8 (close to lateral carina). 100 2525 Orthetrum stemmale Bold Skimmer Female Close up Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2019r 13  Blackish brown ring on front margin of s 5 - 6 broad but incomplete next to dorsal carina. S 7 dark ring on front margin complete with small triangular dots on dorsal front margin. Small dark brown foliations present on s 9. White claspers with black tips. Lower claspers black on top. (dorsal view) 100 2526 Orthetrum stemmale Bold Skimmer Female Close up Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2019r 14
Habitat:
  • Marshy edges of streams and more extensive marshy areas in bushy savanna.Often with a soft (like muddy) bottom, probably especially pools in stream beds.
  • From 0 to 2200 m above sea level, but mostly below 1000.
Behaviour:
  •  It has a strong darting flight, frequently returning to perch, often away from the water on tall grass stems among bushes.
Compared with other species:
  • Orthetrum stemmale is a larger than O. abbotti (Little Skimmer)  102 501 Waterberge male x Mch 2016 r, O. hintzi (Dark-shouldered Skimmer) 100 2090 Orthetrum hintzi Dark shouldered Skimmer Male Ezemvelo GP RSA Sept 2017r 1 and O. machadoi.(Highland Skimmer) 100 2119 Orthetrum machadoi Highland Skimmer Male1 Haenertsburg LP RSA Dec 2015r 2
  • O. julia, (Julia Skimmer) is the only species has dark brownish black pterostigmas. 100 2034 Orthetrum julia falsum Julia Skimmer Male Mystic Monkeys Jan 2017r 5
  • O. caffrum (Two-striped Skimmer), 100 790 Orthetrum caffrum Two stripped Skimmer Moreletta Sept 2016r 2  O. Julia (Cape Skimmer) 108 509 Orthetrum julia capicola Cape Skimmer Male Hermanus Western Cape 06 02 2016  has stripe between wings
  • O. chrysostigma (Epaulet Skimmer).   100 1171 Alicedale epaulet Nov 2015 Resize  O. caffrum (Two-striped Skimmer), 100 790 Orthetrum caffrum Two stripped Skimmer Moreletta Sept 2016r 2  O. brachiale (Banded Skimmer) 100 651 Orthetrum brachiale Banded Skimmer Female Kasane Apr 2014 r 1 has stripe on the lateral thorax
  • O. chrysostigma, 100 1171 Alicedale epaulet Nov 2015 Resize  O. caffrum, 100 790 Orthetrum caffrum Two stripped Skimmer Moreletta Sept 2016r 2  O. brachiale  100 651 Orthetrum brachiale Banded Skimmer Female Kasane Apr 2014 r 1 has a distinct thoracic side stripes. This may disappear (pruinose) with age.
Distribution
Distribution Map June 2020 Map

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

South Africa:

  • Localise to northern KZN, Mp and Limpopo Province 

Africa:

  • 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; São Tomé & Príncipe; Senegal; Sierra Leone; Somalia; Tanzania; Togo; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Further reading:

Websites
Odonata Atlas of Africa VMU Number 668110
The IUCN Red Data List of Threatened Species.   Least Concern
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa
African Dragonflies & Damselflies Online

 

X

Right Click

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