Banded Duskdarter (Parazyxomma flavicans)

View the above photo record (by Rob Dickinson) in OdonataMAP here.

Find the Banded Duskdarter in the FBIS database (Freshwater Biodiversity Information System) here.

Family Libellulidae

Parazyxomma flavicans BANDED DUSKDARTER

(Martin, 1908)

Identification

Small size

Length attains 40mm; Wingspan up to 68mm.

Most similar to the female and immature Southern Banded Groundling (Brachythemis leucosticta). Parazyxomma flavicans differs by having intricately patterned greenish-brown eyes and paler brown, washed out wing bands. In addition, the two species have very different habitat requirements.

Click here for more details on identification of the Banded Duskdarter.

Parazyxomma flavicans – Male
Kosi Bay, KwaZulu-Natal
Photo by Ryan Tippett

Habitat

Inhabits forested areas, particularly swamp forests surrounding rivers and lakes. Favours deeply shaded habitats, often with ferns and similar undergrowth. A coastal species in South Africa.

Habitat – Dense swamp forest
Kosi Bay, KwaZulu-Natal
Photo by Ryan Tippett

Behaviour

A crepuscular, shade loving species that spends much of its time hidden in dense undergrowth. Usually perches fairly high up on twigs in full shade. Active at dusk when it hunts in clearings and along river fringes.

Status and Conservation

Uncommon and very localised in South Africa. Listed locally as Vulnerable in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Listed globally as of Least Concern. Intolerant towards habitat degradation and is not recorded from man-made habitats.

Distribution

Widespread in sub-Saharan Africa. Occurs across West and Central Africa to Uganda and Rwanda in East Africa. The range extends down to Zambia, Northern Namibia and Botswana. There is a seemingly isolated population in NE South Africa and Adjacent Southern Mozambique.

Below is a map showing the distribution of records for Banded Duskdarter in the OdonataMAP database as at February 2020.

The next map below is an imputed map, produced by an interpolation algorithm, which attempts to generate a full distribution map from the partial information in the map above. This map will be improved by the submission of records to the OdonataMAP section of the Virtual Museum.

Ultimately, we will produce a series of maps for all the odonata species in the region. The current algorithm is a new algorithm. The objective is mainly to produce “smoothed” maps that could go into a field guide for odonata. This basic version of the algorithm (as mapped above) does not make use of “explanatory variables” (e.g. altitude, terrain roughness, presence of freshwater — we will be producing maps that take these variables into account soon). Currently, it only makes use of the OdonataMAP records for the species being mapped, as well as all the other records of all other species. The basic maps are “optimistic” and will generally show ranges to be larger than what they probably are.

These maps use the data in the OdonataMAP section of the Virtual Museum, and also the database assembled by the previous JRS funded project, which was led by Professor Michael Samways and Dr KD Dijkstra.

Further Resources

Virtual Museum (OdonataMAP > Search VM > By Scientific or Common Name)

More common names: Gebande Skemerwerper (Afrikaans)

Type Locality: Guinea, no locality data available.

Recommended citation format: Loftie Eaton. M; Hofmeyr S; Tippett RM; Underhill L. Banded Duskdarter Parazyxomma flavicans. Biodiversity and Development Institute. Available online at https://thebdi.org/2020/05/12/banded-duskdarter-parazyxomma-flavicans/

Dragonfly Atlas: Megan Loftie-Eaton, Sally Hofmeyr, Ryan Tippett & Les Underhill
Dragonfly Atlas: Megan Loftie-Eaton, Sally Hofmeyr, Ryan Tippett & Les Underhill
Megan Loftie-Eaton is our communications, social media and citizen science coordinator. Prior to her work for the BDI, she coordinated OdonataMAP, the Atlas of African Odonata. Sally Hofmeyr has many years' experience in the academic world, writing her own material and editing the work of others. Her academic background is in the natural sciences: her PhD and first postdoc in ornithology and environmental change (Animal Demography Unit, University of Cape Town). Ryan Tippett is an enthusiastic contributor to Citizen Science and has added many important and interesting records of fauna and flora. He has been a member of the VMU since 2014 and has currently submitted over 11000 records. He is also on the expert identification panel for the Odonata Map project. Prof Les Underhill has been Director of the Animal Demography Unit (ADU) at the University of Cape Town since it started in 1991. Although citizen science in biology is Les’s passion, his academic background is in mathematical statistics.