100 1174 Orthetrum chrysostigna Epaulet Skimmer Male Kimiad Pretoria GP RSA Jan 2016r 1100 1183 Orthetrum chrysostigna Epaulet Skimmer Young Male Badplaas MP RSA Nov 2016r 2100 2637 Orthetrum chrysostigna Epaulet Skimmer Groblersdal MP RSA Febr 2018r 4

Epaulet Skimmer.   Epouletskepper

 Family Libellulidae Leach, 1815
More images:

100 1178 Orthetrum chrysostigna Epaulet Skimmer Teneral Female Vaalwater LP RSA Apr 2017r 4Imagesvc Kozi bay KZN RSA Mch 2019Mature Male100 1362 Orthetrum chrysostigna Epaulet Skimmer Male Close up Rustenburg LP RSA Sept 2017r 2Male100 1352 Orthetrum chrysostigna Epaulet Skimmer Male Close up Bobejaan Aug 2017r 1Young Male 100 1172 Orthetrum chrysostigna Epaulet Skimmer Female Old Bobejaan Aug 2017f 9Mature Female




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Short description:

Medium-sized to fairly large, brownish and pale blue, with a light, single stripe on side of thorax

Key identification features:

Males:

  • Size: Length 39 - 42 - 46mm, wingspan 59 - 65 - 69mm. pterostigmas 2.5 - 3mm
  • Face varies from light brownish grey to all grey.Orthetrum chrysostigna Epaulet Skimmer Male Kozi bay KZN RSA Mch 2019 Labium, labrum, anteclypeus and postclypeus light grey.Orthetrum chrysostigna Epaulet Skimmer Male Kozi bay KZN RSA Mch 2019 Frons pencil grey,squarely spectacled in light grey 100 2959 Orthetrum chrysostigna Epaulet Skimmer Male Kozi bay KZN RSA Mch 2019r 33  100 1355 Orthetrum chrysostigna Epaulet Skimmer Male Close up Bobejaan Aug 2017r 7  Head shiny black above, dimpled, with prominent peaks.
  • Eyes dull turquoise.100 1355 Orthetrum chrysostigna Epaulet Skimmer Male Close up Bobejaan Aug 2017r 7  100 2959 Orthetrum chrysostigna Epaulet Skimmer Male Kozi bay KZN RSA Mch 2019r 33
  • Thorax dull dark brown with large side stripe becoming indistinct and can become obscured with pruinescence in old individuals.100 2954 Orthetrum chrysostigna Epaulet Skimmer Male Kozi bay KZN RSA Mch 2019r 8 100 1353 Orthetrum chrysostigna Epaulet Skimmer Male Close up Bobejaan Aug 2017r 2  Pruinescent light greyish stripe present, running along top of thorax between wings
  • Wings clear Orthetrum chrysostigna Epaulet Skimmer Male Kozi bay KZN RSA Mch 2019may become slightly smoky with age.100 1352 Orthetrum chrysostigna Epaulet Skimmer Male Close up Bobejaan Aug 2017r 1  Pterostigmas yellowish brown
  • Abdomen pruinescent pale blue. Orthetrum chrysostigna Epaulet Skimmer Male Kozi bay KZN RSA Mch 2019  100 2961 Orthetrum chrysostigna Epaulet Skimmer Male Kozi bay KZN RSA Mch 2019r 36

Females

  • Light brown with a pale brown face.
  • Eyes dull turquoise. Orthetrum chrysostigna Epaulet Skimmer Female Close up Bobejaan Aug 2017
  • Thorax greenish to yellowish dark brown with strong light creamish stripe finely edged in black, Orthetrum chrysostigna Epaulet Skimmer Female Close up Bobejaan Aug 2017pale shoulder stripe edged below in black also present.
  • Abdomen yellowish brown, darker brown on sides, 100 1171 Orthetrum chrysostigna Epaulet Skimmer Female Close up Bobejaan Aug 2017r 11   Thin black line on side of abdomen that broadens at the end before the next segment, A very thin line on the side of abdomen above the primary side line.100 1184 Orthetrum chrysostigna Epaulet Skimmer Female Close up Bobejaan Aug 2017r 13 It has a thin black dorsal line that broadens on s 8 to broader on s-9, with a cross line. S 8 to 9 becoming darker brown above. Dorsal side of s 10 is yellow with black edges. Minute black foliations present on s 8. 
Compared with other species:
  • O. chrysostigma Orthetrum chrysostigna Epaulet Skimmer Male Close up Rustenburg LP RSA Sept 2017 is recognised in the field by the single, pale stripe on the side of the thorax (which may be obscured with age). O. julia capicola, Cape Skimmer, which is only found in the WCP, has two side stripes.
  • O. caffrum Orthetrum caffrum Two stripped Skimmer Female WSBG GP RSA DEC 2014 is recognisable by a whitish stripe between its wings and two stripes on the side of the thorax with another white shoulder stripe.
  • Final confirmation however of males, must preferably be done by examination of secondary genitalia and measurements
Distribution and habitat:

http://vmus.adu.org.za/vm_map_afr.php?&database=odonata&grid=2&outline=1&key=0&map=4&spp=%20668600Common and widespread in South Africa 
Mostly streams, but possibly also seeps, springs, headwaters, rivers and often temporary standing waters,
in open (often rather dry) landscapes, but sometimes in open areas in forest. Probably found on calmer sections
(like pools) with a soft (like muddy) bottom. From 0 to 2300 m above sea level, but possibly higher up.

Behaviour:
  • Perches on stems, boulders or ground darts swiftly over water or grassy areas, frequently returning to the same perch, which may be a stem, a boulder or the ground.
Further reading:

Websites:
Odonata Atlas of Africa VMU Number 667920
African Dragonflies & Damselflies Online
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

 
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