The photo above (by Gareth Yearsley) can be viewed in OdonataMAP here.
Brachythemis leucosticta, commonly known as the Southern Banded Groundling is a dragonfly belonging to the family Libellulidae.
Length up to 33mm; Wingspan attains 57mm.
Males are distinctive and easily recognised.
Females lack the dark wing panels and can be mistaken for a Dropwing (Trithemis spp.) or the Banded Duskdarter (Parazyxomma flavicans). These species however, lack the bi-coloured pterostigmas and can be further differentiated by wing venation, habitat and behaviour.
Open areas adjacent to almost any freshwater habitat, in dry savanna areas. This includes rivers, dams, pans and marshes. Favours sites with bare ground such as sand, gravel and mud. Non-breeding individuals may be found far from water. Breeding males sit on vegetation overhanging the water and commonly on waterlilies.
Sits in exposed positions, mostly on or close to the ground. Tame and confiding. Frequently follows humans and animals to catch small insects that get flushed from the grass. Often gregarious and females are found alongside the males.
Status and Conservation
Brachythemis leucosticta is abundant and widespread. It is listed as of Least Concern in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The Southern Banded Groundling is an adaptable species that is often common in disturbed habitats.
Occurs widely through East and Central Africa and down to the northern parts of South Africa. In South Africa it is mostly absent from the Western Cape, Karoo and colder parts of the Highveld.
Below is a map showing the distribution of records for Southern Banded Groundling 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.