Ruby Jewel (Chlorocypha consueta)

View the above photo record (by Nick Hart) in OdonataMAP here.

Family Chlorocyphidae

Chlorocypha consuetaRUBY JEWEL

Identification

Small size

Length up to 31mm; Wingspan attains 56mm.

Males are unmistakable within the sub-region.

Told apart from Platycypha caligata (Dancing Jewel) and Platycypha fitzsimonsi (Boulder Jewel) by having a vivid, all red abdomen and thin dark coloured legs. The Platycypha jewels have vivid blue on the upper surface of the abdomen and broad, flattened lower legs that are white on the inner surface and red on the outside.

Females are very similar to those of the Platycypha jewels, and are best identified by their association with the males.

Click here for more details on identification.

Chlorocypha consueta – Male
Mulanje, Malawi
Photo by Gary Brown

Habitat

Inhabits forested streams and rivers with clear, flowing water and dappled light.

Behaviour

Sits close to the water on rocks, tree roots or on overhanging vegetation. Reluctant to fly.

On the wing from November to May

Status and Conservation

The continued presence of this species in South Africa is uncertain. In the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species it is listed as Critically Endangered for South Africa, but overall as of Least Concern.

Distribution

There is currently no distribution map for this species. More data is required.

The Ruby Jewel has a disjunct distribution in South-East Africa. Occurs in southern DRC, northern Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania and the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe and neighbouring Mozambique.

There are three old records for this species from northern and central KwaZulu-Natal. Subsequent searches have not lead to the rediscovery of the species in the country. It is doubtful weather this species is resident in South Africa.

Dragonfly Atlas: Megan Loftie-Eaton, Sally Hofmeyr, Ryan Tippett & Les Underhill
Dragonfly Atlas: Megan Loftie-Eaton, Sally Hofmeyr, Ryan Tippett & Les Underhill
Megan Loftie-Eaton is our communications, social media and citizen science coordinator. Prior to her work for the BDI, she coordinated OdonataMAP, the Atlas of African Odonata. Sally Hofmeyr has many years' experience in the academic world, writing her own material and editing the work of others. Her academic background is in the natural sciences: her PhD and first postdoc in ornithology and environmental change (Animal Demography Unit, University of Cape Town). Ryan Tippett is an enthusiastic contributor to Citizen Science and has added many important and interesting records of fauna and flora. He has been a member of the VMU since 2014 and has currently submitted over 11000 records. He is also on the expert identification panel for the Odonata Map project. Prof Les Underhill has been Director of the Animal Demography Unit (ADU) at the University of Cape Town since it started in 1991. Although citizen science in biology is Les’s passion, his academic background is in mathematical statistics.