Lucia Widow, Palpopleura lucia, Lucia-weetjie
Lucia Widow, Palpopleura lucia, Lucia-weetjie is very small to small sized, with powdery blue body and extensive black patches on wings.
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Key identification features:
- Black patches on the fore wings run from wing bases to the pterostigmas. These markings extend from the front of wing to the rear of wing.
- Undulating hind margins on hind wings that do not reach the hind margin.
- Pterostigmas are white with a black outer edge that continues around the wing tip in a sickle shape (or like a cats nail).
- Has deeply notched broad black outer wing markings.
- Amber coloured patches in both wings may extend to the hind margins of the wing.
- Standing and often temporary waters in open landscapes or shaded by or in open areas in (gallery) forest. Usually with emergent vegetation and often coarse detritus and a soft (like muddy) bottom.
- rom 0 to 2300 m above sea level, but mostly below 1600.
- Hangs with wings folded forwards and perches on stems and in full sunshine.
Compared with other species:
- Females of P. lucia and P. portia are most like P. portia males, but is difficult to separate. Females must preferably be identified or photographed with males.
- P portia and P. lucia have dark patches on the wings. P. lucia P. portia
- Black patches in both wings of the female P. lucia is more extensive than the patches of P. Portia.
- P deceptor has long black streaks in fore wing only with an isolated dark marking around node. .
- Pterostigmas of P. lucia and P portia are bi-colored: half white and half black with black on outer side. The outer black part of the pterostigmas of P. Lucia follows to the last Px vein (on the wing tip) giving the pterostigma a cat nail like appearance P. jucunda has dark brown pterostigmas. Pterostigmas of P deceptor are black with white/cream in inner half.
- P. lucia females have an amber patch in both wings that reaches the hind margins of the wings. These patches may also be prevalent in P. portia, but is lighter and do not reach the hind margins of the wings.
- Female P. jucunda has distinctive dark patches on outer part of both wings, but the male have amber patches in the area where the females have dark patch
- Common across the warm eastern and northern side of South 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; Sudan; Swaziland; Tanzania; Togo; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe;
- A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa
- The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species Least Concern
- Odonata Atlas of Africa. VMU Number 668200
- Africa Dragonflies & Damselflies Online