Red List of South African Species

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Vulnerable (VU)


Globally this species is assessed as Vulnerable and the assessment will be updated to Near Threatened with the next IUCN Red List update (2018). In South Africa, this species is relictual and has a restricted geographic range, with an area of occupancy (AOO) of 48 kmand an extent of occurrence (EOO) of 527 km2 and known from between five to 10 locations. This species has a specific habitat requirement (montane streams) and a localized distribution (Samways 1999). It is experiencing continuous decline caused by habitat loss due to impacts of forestry and invasive trees and habitat degradation due to introduced fishes and siltation of montane streams. The species is assessed as Vulnerable B1ab(iii) + 2ab(iii). Since this is a regional assessment at the national level a adjustment has been considered. However, since its global population is threatened and because it is unlikely that the species will be able to re-colonize South Africa from neighbouring areas because of the intervening dry savannah areas which are highly unsuitable habitat, no status adjustment is implemented.


This species is a southern African endemic, which occurs mainly along montane forest streams and trickles. The species has been recorded near Tzaneen in northern South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malawi (Mt Mulanje) and northern Mozambique.

Population trend


Around 20% of the known global population occurs in South Africa, where the species is under severe pressure. Global population trend is not known, but it is declining within South Africa. This large damselfly occurs at low population levels, with very few individuals along any one stream (Samways 2006). This species has lost two subpopulations due to habitat disturbance in the Limpopo Province, South Africa.


The main threat to the species is forest destruction caused by agriculture and wood extraction globally. In South Africa, the species is threatened by commercial forestry, invasive trees (especially Acacia spp.), introduced fish species (trout), habitat loss, and siltation of streams in montane areas due to the combination of loss of native trees and afforestation with introduced species.


It would be beneficial to the species if natural forest adjacent to streams are kept during plantation afforestation, along with restoration of streams with natural forest (Samways 2006). No conservation measures known but information on taxonomy, population ecology, habitat status and population trends would be valuable. Habitat/site based conservation is also required.

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