Palpopleura portia (Shadow-bridge Widow)

The shape of the black markings on the wings gives rise to the vernacular name of this little beauty, resembling the silhouette of an arched bridge.

We saw a single example at the foot of the Waterberg Plateau in Namibia. It posed beautifully for Carol, then moved and posed poorly for me. At least I got to see it, though. 😉

We saw these again in Zambia 2022 where we found a female, too. Females are, apparently, are very tricky to determine; my Namibia book suggests impossible. There are, however, a couple of difficult differential factors mentioned and diagrammed on John Wilkinson’s excellent website. It is still difficult to see on my female specimen, being somewhat obscured by wing, but I THINK that the humeral area suggests a female of P. portia. So, this is where it is shown for now.

Id Notes

  • ♂ – the wing markings make this unmistakable
  • ♀ – very difficult to distinguish from P. lucia
mature male
immature male