Lestes dissimulans Cryptic Spreadwing Male 100 063 Lestes dissimulans Cryptic Spreadwing Female RNR LP RSA Dec 2017r 8 101 046 Lestes dissimulans Cryptic Spreadwing Pair Modimolle LP November 2013

Cryptic Spreadwing.    Kriptiese Spanvlerkie.

Lestes dissimulans (Fraser, 1955)
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 Images  Male (Old)  Male  Female Female 
100 155 Lestes dissimulans Cryptic Spreadwing Male Mabusa Nature Reserve MP RSA Dec 2017r 4 100 091 Lestes dissimulans Cryptic Spreadwing Old Male close up RNR LP RSA Jan 2016r 1 100 064 Lestes dissimulans Cryptic Spreadwing Male RNR LP RSA Dec 2017r 1 100 080 Lestes dissimulans Cryptic Spreadwing Female close up RNR LP RSA Dec 2017r 1 100 075 Lestes dissimulans Cryptic Spreadwing Female RNR LP RSA Dec 2017r 5
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Short Description:

Cryptic Spreadwing, Lestes dissimulans, Genus Lestes, Family Lestidae medium-sized greyish blue, speckled with bright blue eyes above and greyish below.

Key identification features:

Male

  • Highly variable in colour varying from brown to grey blue. 
  • Greyish blue thorax has small dark spots on the sides and ornamental markings on the dorsal thorax.Lestes dissimulans Cryptic Spreadwing Old Male close up RNR LP RSA Jan 2016 With age the dorsal thorax marking will pruinose to a greyish brown rendering the marking invisible.
  • Abdominal segments 9 -10 are fully covered by a light blue or whitish pruinosity.
  • Pterostigmas dark brown with fine pale borders, longer than 1 mm.
  • Superior appendages are black. Upper clasper has a single blunt tooth close to the base.

Female

  • Greenish brown with similar dark spots as the male
Compared with other species:
  • L. tridens, Spotted Spreadwing, is also speckled but has whitish appendages and three teeth on the inside of each upper clasper. Also the pterostigmas of the L. dissimilis are longer (>1 mm.) The pterostigmas of L. tridens is <1mm.
Distribution and habitat:
  • Savanna species from the northern parts of South Africa and KZN. New records now indicate stable populations in Gauteng, Eastern parts of NWP and LP.
  • Frequents shallow seasonal ponds, pools and swamps with abundance of grass and sedge in hot savanna.
Behaviour:
  • Hangs with wings outstretched from grass stems and rushes over water. Breeds in the stems of sedge. Strong flyer 
Further reading and other information:
Distribution Map Books:
The Dragonflies and Damselflies of Eastern Africa ... p.26
A Guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa   p. 48
Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa … P 197

Draginfly Biotic Index … p. 51
Websites:
Odonata Atlas of AfricaOdonata Atlas of Africa Number 660320
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species  Least Concern
African Dragonflies & Damselflies Online
Other Information:
Size Comparison Diagram Dragonflies, Damselflies
Morphology of a
Dragonfly,  Damselfly
Map of South Africa
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