View the above photo record (by Chris Willis) in OdonataMAP here.
Find the Highland Skimmer in the FBIS database (Freshwater Biodiversity Information System) here.
Orthetrum machadoi – HIGHLAND SKIMMER
Length up to 44mm; Wingspan attains 66mm.
Most similar to Orthetrum guineense (Guinea Skimmer). The two species were up until recently thought to be conspecific. Mature males of the two can only be definitively identified by the respective shapes of the secondary genitalia.
Immature males and females of Orthetrum machadoi can be recognised by the mostly unmarked thorax sides and the pair of truncated lines on the shoulders (diagnostic).
Click here for more details on identification of the Highland Skimmer.
Inhabits the grass and bush fringes of floodplains, pans, marshes, dams and rivers. A mid altitude species in many areas but occurs to sea-level in KwaZulu-Natal.
Often seen away from water in the surrounding grass and woodland. On the wing from October to April
Status and Conservation
Fairly common. Listed as of Least Concern in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Orthetrum machadoi is mainly a species of East and Southern Africa, with some scattered records across to northern Angola.
In South Africa it is found in the North and East, occuring as far south as the Transkei, Eastern Cape.
Below is a map showing the distribution of records for Highland Skimmer 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.