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Dragonflies & Damselflies Assegai Sprite - Dragonflies & Damselflies

100 1616 Pseudagrion assegaii Assegai Sprite Male Hertzogberg MP RSA Nov 2017r 2100 1613 Pseudagrion assegaii Assegai Sprite Male Vaalwater LP RSA Sept 2017f 3100 1617 Pseudagrion assegaii Assegai Sprite Male Hertzogberg MP RSA Nov 2017r 3

Assegai Sprite   Assegaaigesie

Family Coenagrionidae Kirby, 1890

Also called Spearhead Sprite, Spear Sprite

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100 1616 Pseudagrion assegaii Assegai Sprite Male Hertzogberg MP RSA Nov 2017r 2 



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Short description:

Pseudagrion assegaii, Assegai Sprite, Genus Pseudagrion (B Group), Family Coenagrionidae,  is small, all bright blue and black with a spear shaped mark abdomen.

Key identification features:

Male

  • \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.
  • Abdominal Segment 1 is sky blue with black basal spot. S 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 s 7. Segments 8 to 10 are bright sky blue.S 10 has black mark on top in the form of an "X"

Female

  • Slightly more robust than male, similar patterning but blue is replaced by light brown pterostigmas pale
Compared with other species:
  • Segment 2 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 small, round and not linked to each other
  • On A. glaucum the postocular spots at narrow and linked.
  • 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:

Previously known  from the Limpopo Province but was recently found in western Mpumalanga (Witbank and Bronkhorstspruit).
It also occurs in Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe.


Behaviour:
  • Preferred habitat is sluggish streams and pools with an abundance of lilies reeds and grasses in dry savanna.
  • Usually seen sitting on lily pads, but will flit close to the water surface when disturbed. 
  • May be found in the grassy areas next to the waters edge
Further reading:

Websites:
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species  Least Concern
African Dragonflies & Damselflies Online
Odonata Atlas of Africa Odonata Atlas of Africa Number 663680.

 

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