View the above photo record (by Richard Johnstone) in OdonataMAP here.
Find the Smoky Duskdarter in the FBIS database (Freshwater Biodiversity Information System) here.
Zyxomma atlanticum – SMOKY DUSKDARTER
Length up tp 47mm; Wingspan attains 72mm.
Most closely resembles Gynacantha usambarica (Eastern Duskhawker) . The Smoky Duskdarter is easily told apart by its far smaller size, different wing venation and by its large green eyes that have three rows of thin brown lines above.
Click here for more details on identification.
Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and shrub-dominated wetlands. In South Africa it occurs mainly in lush swamp forests along the northern KwaZulu-Natal coast.
Crepuscular, being most active at dusk but is also active during humid, overcast conditions. Hunts by coursing low over tree-covered water bodies.
Rests by day in the deep shade of dense undergrowth. Hangs vertically when perched.
On the wing from December to April.
Status and Conservation
Zyxomma atlanticum is scarce and highly localised in South Africa. Listed as of Least Concern in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Most widespread in the forested regions of West and Central Africa. Also occurring locally along the SE African coast in Southern Mozambique and far NE South Africa, where it ranges from Kosi Bay down to Richards Bay.
Below is a map showing the distribution of records for Smoky 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.