Saturday 18 May
Basking malachite (Chlorolestes apricans)
Basking malachite fact file
- Find out more
- Print factsheet
Basking malachite description
This striking damselfly has a bright metallic-green body with white, powdery splashes on its head and thorax. It is one of the damselflies that sits with its wings held open (2) (3). In this position, the black and white wing patches are very conspicuous. As its name 'apricans' (from the Latin 'apricor', meaning 'to sun oneself' (4)) implies, it is often observed sitting in full sunshine, which highlights the iridescent colouring (2) (3).
- Length: 43 - 45 mm (2)
Basking malachite biology
Both damselflies and dragonflies mate in flight; the male grasps the female at her neck with claspers located at the end of his abdomen so that the two fly in tandem (6). The female then curls round her abdomen to take sperm from the male, which is located on a special organ on his abdomen (6). The basking malachite female deposits her eggs on plants that overhang the streams of their habitat (5). The larval stage of the life-cycle is aquatic, preying on other small invertebrates within quieter reaches of the stream (6).Top
Basking malachite range
Endemic to South Africa, in the 1970s this species was known from at least 10 sites but by 2001 had been lost from all but two of these; the Kubusi River at Stutterheim and Thorn River, Eastern Cape (5). It may be that fewer than 1000 adults survive today (5).Top
Basking malachite habitat
The basking malachite inhabits clear, shallow, rocky streams with overhanging long grasses, herbs and indigenous bushes (5).Top
Basking malachite status
Classified as Endangered (EN A3c; B2ab(i,ii,iii,iv)) on the IUCN Red List 2004 (1).Top
Basking malachite threats
The habitat of the basking malachite is situated within the prime agricultural lands of the Eastern Cape of South Africa, and the trampling of cattle on riverbanks is destroying the plants upon which females deposit their eggs (5). The shading of streams by the invasive black wattle (Acacia mearnsii) is further depleting available habitat for this damselfly (5).Top
Basking malachite conservation
Acacia spp. are being removed as part of the 'Working for Water' programme and discussions with local farmers are needed to ensure that cattle are allowed only to enter the water in certain areas along the riverbank, therefore preserving the remaining habitat of this beautiful species (5).Top
Authenticated (11/9/02) by Professor Michael Samways. Chair, Southern African Invertebrates Specialist Group.Top
- In arthropods (crustaceans, insects and arachnids) the abdomen is the hind region of the body, which is usually segmented to a degree. In crustacea (e.g. crabs) the limbs attach to the in insects the limbs are attached to the thorax (the part of the body nearest to the head) and not the abdomen. In vertebrates the abdomen is the part of the body that contains the internal organs (except the heart and lungs).
- A species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.
- Animals with no backbone.
- Of the stage in an animal’s lifecycle after it hatches from the egg. Larvae are typically very different in appearance to adults; they are able to feed and move around but usually are unable to reproduce.
- Part of the body located near the head in animals. In insects, the three segments between the head and the abdomen, each of which has a pair of legs.
- IUCN Red List (November 2004) www.redlist.org
- Samways, M.J. (11/9/02) Pers. comm.
- Samways, M.J. (2002) Red Listed Odonata Species of Africa. Odonatologica, 31: 117-128.
- Latin Dictionary and Grammar Aid (September, 2002) http://www.nd.edu/~archives/latgramm.htm
- Samways, M.J. (2002) National Red List of South African Dragonflies (Odonata). Odonatologica (in press).
- South African Museum (September, 2002) http://www.museums.org.za/bio/insects/odonata/
MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.
Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials
Copyright in this website and materials contained on this website (Material) belongs to Wildscreen or its licensors.
Visitors to this website (End Users) are entitled to:
- view the contents of, and Material on, the website;
- download and retain copies of the Material on their personal systems in digital form in low resolution for their own personal use;
- teachers, lecturers and students may incorporate the Material in their educational material (including, but not limited to, their lesson plans, presentations, worksheets and projects) in hard copy and digital format for use within a registered educational establishment, provided that the integrity of the Material is maintained and that copyright ownership and authorship is appropriately acknowledged by the End User.
End Users shall not copy or otherwise extract, alter or manipulate Material other than as permitted in these Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials.
Additional use of flagged material
Green flagged material
Certain Material on this website (Licence 4 Material) displays a green flag next to the Material and is available for not-for-profit conservation or educational use. This material may be used by End Users, who are individuals or organisations that are in our opinion not-for-profit, for their not-for-profit conservation or not-for-profit educational purposes. Low resolution, watermarked images may be copied from this website by such End Users for such purposes. If you require high resolution or non-watermarked versions of the Material, please contact Wildscreen with details of your proposed use.
Creative commons material
Certain Material on this website has been licensed to Wildscreen under a Creative Commons Licence. These images are clearly marked with the Creative Commons buttons and may be used by End Users only in the way allowed by the specific Creative Commons Licence under which they have been submitted. Please see http://creativecommons.org for details.
Any other use
Please contact the copyright owners directly (copyright and contact details are shown for each media item) to negotiate terms and conditions for any use of Material other than those expressly permitted above. Please note that many of the contributors to ARKive are commercial operators and may request a fee for such use.
Save as permitted above, no person or organisation is permitted to incorporate any copyright material from this website into any other work or publication in any format (this includes but is not limited to: websites, Apps, CDs, DVDs, intranets, extranets, signage, digital communications or on printed materials for external or other distribution). Use of the Material for promotional, administrative or for-profit purposes is not permitted.