Assegai Sprite Assegaaigesie
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Pseudagrion assegaii, Assegai Sprite, Genus Pseudagrion, Family Coenagrionidae, is small, all bright blue and black with a spear shaped mark abdomen.
Key identification features:
Face is light sky blue and black with the labrum light blue with small central black spot. Anteclypeus brownish pale blue, postclypeus black. Frons is blue in front with a black half-moon marking above, which connects with black of top of head. Head black with isolated blue postocular spots from above. Eyes are pale blue, pinkish below. Neck is black above with a blue spot on each side, blue below. Thorax is black above bordered by brownish blue stripes, sharply-defined narrow black stripe present on each side. Wings are clear. Pterostigmas pale brown, almost buff. Segment 1 is sky blue with black basal spot. Segment 2 is blue with distinct spearhead-shape black marking. The rest of abdomen is light blue with black line running along top up to hind margin of segment 7. Segments 8 to 10 are bright sky blue.
Female slightly more robust than male, similar patterning but blue is replaced by light brown pterostigmas pale.
Compared with other species:
S2 is shaped like a spear on P assegaii and like a round bowl flower pot with long stem on Africallagme glaucum, Swamp bluet. Postacular spots on P assegaii is smal, roung and not linked to each other On A. glaucum the postocular spots at narow and linked. The marking on S 7 in P. assegaii in open and less of a keyhole than a. glaucum only about 2/3 around the end of the segment
Distribution and habitat:
The Assegai Sprite was only known from the Limpopo Province but was recently found in western Mpumalanga (Witbank and Bronkhorstspruit). It also occurs in Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Its habitat is sluggish streams and pools with an abundance of lilies reeds and grasses in dry savanna. It is usually seen sitting on lily pads, but will flit close to the water surface when disturbed.
Further reading and other information: