Spotted Spreadwing. Gevlekte Spanvlerkie.
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Lestes tridens, Spotted Spreadwing, Genus Lestes, Family Lestidae, small to medium sized, greyish green to greyish blue, with dark grey elongated spots and speckles and a distinctive wavy oak leaf pattern on the top of the thorax Very similar to Cryptic Spreadwing, L. dissimulans.
Key identification features:
- Thorax is greyish green to greyish blue with dark elongated spots and speckles with wavy 'oak leaf' dorsal band on the thorax.
- Pterostigmas is dark greyish brown and shorter.
- Less blue on the terminal segments Superior appendages are distinctly whitish with black bases and tips.
- There are three teeth on the inside of each upper clasper. Upper clasper has a single blunt tooth close to the base.
- Light brown has similar dark brown spots on the thorax.
Compared with other species:
- L. dissimulans, Cryptic Spreadwing is also speckled but has dark appendages and one tooth on the inside of each upper clasper.
- Pterostigmas of the L. dissimilis are longer (>1 mm.) The pterostigmas of L. tridens is <1mm.
Distribution and habitat
- From E Cape to the northern parts of South Africa and the coastal plains of KZN, eastern Mpumalang and LP.
- Preferred habitat is grassy and bushy margins of pools, dams, swamps, lake shores, and waterholes, usually with emergent and often aquatic vegetation.
- Hangs with wings outstretched inactively on grass stems or twigs over water. Female often with male.