African Piedspot Bontkolletjie.
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Key identification features:
- Face have a shiny slightly blue metallic frons with creamish dot either side.
- Creamy stripe on the dorsal thorax carina. May disappea when old
- Forewing usually but not always with a darkish amber streak between the costal and radius vein, a smoky patch.
- Pterostigmas distinctly whitish on inside yet blackish on outside.
- Claspers are short with white stripes on the cercus.
- Creamy stripe on the dorsal thorax carina
- Bicoloured pterostigmas.
- Brown wing tips, yellowish, smoky wing patch, and a yellow streak running whole length of thorax, between wings, to start of abdomen. This light area is bordered with dark brown.
- Sides of the thorax are mostly plain, yellowish.
- Claspers have whitish stripes.
Compared with other species:
- Similar to the Skimmer (Orthetrum) species due to the blue-grey pruinose thorax and abdomen.
- Diagnostic on the African Piedspot is the bi-coloured pterostigmas and very distinctive colours of the eyes and face.
- H. albipunctum has a creamy stripe on the dorsal thorax carina. This is not present on P. deceptor.
- Males are similar to Deceptive widow (Palpopleura deceptor) but have a long slender abdomen and do not have the spot at the nodus and dark streak between the costa and radius veins as distinctive in P deceptor.
- Female Hemistigma albipunctum may be confused with the female Eastern Blacktail (Nesciothemis farinose) . Both species have a cream dorsal stripe and dark wingtips as well as a brad black stripe on the side of the abdomen
Distribution and habitat:
- Locally common in the warm north and east of South Africa.
- Prefers standing and often temporary waters, as well as rivers and possibly flowing channels in reed-choked marshes and swamps (sometimes with minimal water), in open landscapes, open areas in forest or shaded by gallery forest. Usually with emergent vegetation and often coarse detritus and a soft (like muddy) bottom.
- From 0 to 1900 m above sea level, but mostly below 1400.
- Perches on reed or grass stems, darting out, then returning to perch, often a different perch.