Lucia Widow, Palpopleura lucia, Lucia-weetjie 

100 742 Marloth Park Sept 2016r 3

100 707  Female Numu July 2015r 1

100 701 Kasane Apr 2014 r 1

Short description:

Lucia Widow, Palpopleura lucia, Lucia-weetjie is very small to small sized, with powdery blue body and extensive black patches on wings.

Family Libellulidae Leach, 1815

More images:

100 701  Kasane Apr 2014 r 1Image
Gallery

100 1209 Male Close up Kozi Bay KZN Mch 2017r 1Male Mature
Close-up

100 1208 Palpopleura lucia Lucia Widow Close up Male Marloth Park Sept 2016r 3Male
Close-up

100 750  Female Close up Marloth Park Sept 2016r 2Female
Close-up

100 1941Close up1 Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2018r 1Mature Female
Close=up

 

 

 

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Key identification features:

Male: Palpopleura lucia Lucia Widow Marloth Park Sept 2016

  • 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. Palpopleura portia Lucia Widow Numu July 2015
  • Undulating hind margins on hind wings that do not reach the hind margin. Palpopleura portia Lucia Widow Numu July 2015
  • Pterostigmas are white with a black outer edge that continues around the wing tip in a sickle shape (or like a cats nail).100 705 Palpopleura portia Lucia Widow Numu July 2015r 7

Female: Palpopleura portia Lucia Widow Female Numu July 2015

  • Has deeply notched broad black outer wing markings.Palpopleura lucia Lucia Widow Female Close up1 Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2018
  • Amber coloured patches in both wings may extend to the hind margins of the wing. Palpopleura lucia Lucia Widow Female Close up1 Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2018
Habitat:
  • 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.
Behaviour:
  • Hangs with wings folded forwards and perches on stems and in full sunshine.
Compared with other species:
  • Females of P. lucia 100 707 Palpopleura portia Lucia Widow Female Numu July 2015r 1  and P. portia 100 1297 Palpopleura portia Portia Widow Female Melkrivier LP RSA Sept 2017r 1  are most like P. portia males, 100 1283 Palpopleura jacunda Yellow veined Widow Male Haenertsburg LP RSA Dec 2015r 1  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 100 707 Palpopleura portia Lucia Widow Female Numu July 2015r 1  P. portia 100 1297 Palpopleura portia Portia Widow Female Melkrivier LP RSA Sept 2017r 1
  • 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. . 100 1933 Palpopleura deceptor Deceptive Widow Female Close up RNR GP RSA Feb 2018r 30  100 1934 Palpopleura deceptor Deceptive Widow Female Close up RNR GP RSA Feb 2018r 32
  • 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, 100 1954 Diplacodes pumila Dwarf Percherr Male Old Close up Hertzogbergr MP RSA Nov 2017r 1 but the male have amber patches 100 1749 Palpopleura jacunda Yellow veined Widow Male Close up RNR Apr 2017r 10 in the area where the females have dark patch 
Distribution:

Distribution Map May 2020 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 South Africa:

  • Common across the warm eastern and northern side of South Africa. 

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;
Further reading:

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