100 1616 Pseudagrion assegaii Assegai Sprite Male Hertzogberg MP RSA Nov 2017r 2 100 1613 Pseudagrion assegaii Assegai Sprite Male Vaalwater LP RSA Sept 2017f 3 100 1617 Pseudagrion assegaii Assegai Sprite Male Hertzogberg MP RSA Nov 2017r 3

Assegai Sprite   Assegaaigesie

(Pinhey 1950)

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Photos in nature.
Close-up for identification assistance.
Male. 

Short description:

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.

Behaviour:

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:

Distribution Map
 Distribution Map

Books:
The Dragonflies and Damselflies of Eastern Africa ... p.182        
A Guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa p. 158
Dragonfly Biotic Index ... p. 150
Websites:
Odonata Atlas of Africa Odonata Atlas of Africa Number 663680.
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species  Least Concern
African Dragonflies & Damselflies Online
Other Information:
Size Comparison Diagram
Dragonflies, Damselflies
Morphology of a
Dragonfly,  Damselfly
Map of South Africa

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