The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Tropical Bluetail

Afrikaans name: Hemelstertjie

Tropical Bluetail

Tropical Bluetail damselfly

Photo © Steven Herbert

Ischnura senegalensis

The male Tropical Bluetail has green on its thorah and head and its tail is tipped with blue. Females are more of a greenish brown and lack the blue. Immature females are orange.

These damselflies are around 3 cm in length with females being slightly longer than males. The wingspan is around 3.5 cm.

Tropical Bluetails are found in many places around the world from South Africa to Japan. In South Africa they can be found in virtually any place that has water with surrounding vegetation. They are even quite tolerant of brackish or polluted water.

Interestingly they are parasitised by a species of small mite which can actually be so abundant that it blocks out the normal colouration.

References and further reading

Freshwater Life - Author: C. Griffiths, J. Day & M. Picker - Published: 2015 - Page: 154

Pocket Guide - Insects of South Africa - Author: Mike Picker & Charles Griffiths - Published: 2015 - Page: 18

Field Guide to Insects of South Africa - Author: Mike Picker, Charles Griffiths and Alan Weaving - Published: 0 - Page: 34

A Guide to the Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa - Author: Warwick and Michele Tarboton - Published: 2015 - Page: 86


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