The photo above (by Peter Webb) can be viewed in OdonataMAP here.
Palpopleura jucunda, commonly known as the Yellow-veined Widow, is a species of dragonfly in the family Libellulidae.
Length up to 27mm; Wingspan reaches 42mm.
Both sexes are easily recognised due to their distinctive colouration, small size and squat build.
Favours the marshy fringes of streams and rivers, but also commonly found at seeps and vleis with an abundance of grasses. More common inland than along the coast.
An inconspicuous species due to its small size and habit of flitting low between grass tufts, but males often perch at the top of a grass stem. Has a slow fluttering flight on cool days and a faster darting flight when hot. Often gregarious when they occur in good numbers and both sexes occur together.
Status and Conservation
Palpopleura jucunda is a common but localised species. Listed as of Least Concern in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is a fairly tolerant species and occurs widely at both natural and man-made sites.
It is native to sub-Saharan Africa but is most widespread in Eastern, South-central and Southern Africa. Occurs from Ethiopia in the north right down to the southern tip of Africa in the Western Cape.
Below is a map showing the distribution of records for Yellow-veined Widow 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.