105 007 Pseudagrion draconis 2016 01 31 c 117 038 Pseudagrion draconis Mountain Sprite 103 010 Pseudagrion draconis Mountain Sprite

Mountain Sprite.    Berggesie.

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Short Description:

Mountain Sprite, Pseudagrion draconis, Genus Pseudagrion (A–group), Family Coenagrionidae, A small slate blue damsel with mauvish blue abdominal tip. It has a black face with pruinose forehead and a black labrum. The postocular spots are blue circular to oval. The Western Cape populations lack the postocular spots.

Key identification features:

Male:

  • Face and labrum are mostly black.
  • Frons is black and heavy pruinescent white.
  • Eyes are black above and green below.
  • Wings are clear with dark, reddish brown pterostigmas.
  • Thorax is slate to navy blue above and light green below - with age becoming a little pruinescent. Undefined, very short cross stripe, originating from the hind end of the humeral stripe.
  • Abdomen is slate blue with bronze sheen, greenish or buff below - S8-9 is mauvish blue dorsal becoming pruinescent grey in old individuals.

Female:

  • Light green with black dorsal and humeral stripes, dark greenish abdomen, buff below.
  • Abdomen Segments 8 and 9 have a definite blue pattern.
Compared with other species:
  • Face of P. draconisis mostly black with black labrum, while face of P. salisburyense is greyish green or blue with greenish or bluish labrum. 
  • P. furcigerum has a green labrum.
  • P. spernatum lacks the mauve on the the terminal segments of the abdomen.
  • P. draconisis has an undefined very short cross stripe originating from the hind end of the humeral stripe, while the P spernatum a defnite cross stripe from the hind end of the humeral stripe towards the antihumeral stripe.
Distribution and habitat:
  • Endemic to South Africa.
  • South Africa (Free State, Gauteng, Northern Cape Province, Western Cape).
  • Frequents the vegetated fringes and reeds.
Behaviour:
  • It hovers low and close to water of the slower sunlight reaches of clear montane streams and rivers - often perches on boulders in the mid stream.
Further reading:
http://vmus.adu.org.za/vm_map_afr.php?&database=odonata&grid=2&outline=1&key=0&map=4&spp=663300 Books
A guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa.       p. 64
Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa.   p. 80
Dragonfly Biotic Index   p. 72
Website
Warwick Tarboton
African Dragonflies & Damsekflies online
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa
Odonata Atlas of Africa - VMU Number 663300
The IUCN red List of Threatened Species. Least Concern
INaturalist
Other Information:
Size Comparison Diagram Dragonflies    Damselflies
Morphology of Dragonfly and Damselfly
Map of South Africa
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