Year of the Dragon – OdonataMAP records of note for 2018 – PART ONE

John Wilkinson, one of the most hard working members on the OdonataMAP expert panel, has put together a terrific summary of the best records for 2018 for each province of South Africa. It was a year that delivered many interesting and spectacular damselfly and dragonfly records. The records mentioned in part one of the below report are records that are either range extensions, new records of species that haven’t been recorded for several years, or new species for a province or for South Africa.

Eastern Cape

Eastern Cape Province

For the Eastern Cape, there were eight species that were recorded only once during 2018. And for seven of them there are only 5 or fewer records in OdonataMAP for the province or South Africa (including historical data):

  • OdonataMAP record 46473 of a Vagrant Emperor Anax ephippiger submitted by Alf Taylor is only the fifth record ever for the Eastern Cape. It was recorded on 27 February 2018 (grid cell 3325DC) near Uitenhage.
  • OdonataMAP record 44614 of a Round-winged Bluet Proischnura rotundipennis is only the third record ever for the Easter Cape. It was recorded by Alan Manson on 27 January 2018.
Round-winged Bluet – photo by Alan Manson
  • OdonataMAP record 46108 of a Springwater Sprite Pseudagrion caffrum was recorded by Alf Taylor and Hillary Harrison on 17 February 2018 (3226DB) in the Hogsback Garden Park.
  • OdonataMAP record 44578 of a Lined Claspertail Onychogomphus supinus is the second ever record for the Eastern Cape. Recorded by Alan Manson on 27 January 2018. Alan writes: “many males were seen on the rocks (they were the dominant dragonfly species), about ten individuals in a 50 m stretch of the river”.
Lined Claspertail – photo by Alan Manson
  • OdonataMAP record 62911 of a Pallid Spreadwing Lestes pallidus is the second record for Eastern Cape, submitted by Alf Taylor and Hiliary Harrison on 25 December 2018.
  • A Keyhole Glider Tramea basilaris recorded by Riëtte Griesel on 15 February 2018 is the fourth record for the Eastern Cape. It is OdonataMAP record 45848.
  • A Red Basker Urothemis assignata recorded by Alf Taylor on 05 January 2018 is the fourth record in total for Eastern Cape. It is OdonataMAP record 34383.
  • OdonataMAP record 49034 of a Two-banded Cruiser Phyllomacromia contumax is only the second record for the Eastern Cape. It was recorded by Alf Taylor and Hiliary Harrison on 24 March 2018.

Free State

Free State Province

For the Free State, there were four species of note, and they were all recorded only once during 2018:

  • A Powder-faced Sprite Pseudagrion kersteni (OdonataMAP 57134) recorded by Dawie and Sarieta Kleynhans on 10 August 2018 was the fourth Virtual Museum record for the Free State.
  • OdonataMAP record 46318 of a Cherry-eye Sprite Pseudagrion sublacteum recorded by Dawie and Sarieta Kleynhans on 25  February 2018 is the fifth record for the Free State.
Cherry-eye Sprite – photo by Ryan Tippett
  • A Pallid Spreadwing Lestes pallidus recorded by Dawie and Sarieta Kleynhans on 21 January 2018 (OdonataMAP 44094) was the only record of this species in the Free State for the year.
  • OdonataMAP record 61999 of a Bottletail Olpogastra lugubris is the second record ever for the Free State! It was photographed and uploaded to OdonataMAP by Evert Kleynhans on 15 December 2018.


Gauteng Province

Two species were recorded in Gauteng for the first time during 2018:

Great Sprite – photo by Juan-Pierre Antunes
  • OdonataMAP record 43968, a Goldtail Allocnemis leucosticta recorded by Keanu Canto on 13 January 2018 at the Amanzintaba Resort, Wilge River Valley (2529CA). Keanu writes: “A fairly large population was observed in the forested kloof/gorge of Amanzintaba Resort. Many mating pairs were seen. They were seen along the small stream running through this kloof/gorge, which is lined with rocky stream banks and many ferns”.

….. PART TWO follows here …..

Megan Loftie-Eaton
Megan Loftie-Eaton
Megan is our communications, social media and citizen science coordinator. Prior to her work for the BDI, she coordinated OdonataMAP, the Atlas of African Odonata. A citizen science project run by the Animal Demography Unit, University of Cape Town and funded by the JRS Biodiversity Foundation. She also coordinated LepiMAP, which is the Atlas on African Lepidoptera. Megan is passionate about biodiversity conservation. She is a firm believer in the power of citizen science and getting the public involved in nature conservation.