Peak Bluet. Africallagma sinuatum Spitsbloutjie
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Small, slender,small, slender,light pale blue with fine black lines.
Key identification features:
- Face pale blue. Labrum light blue with indistinct central blackish dot. Anteclypeus greyish blue with brownish lower margin. Postclypeus and frons greyish blue. Top of head light blue with strong black band running from eye to eye but not touching the bases of antennae, back of head greyish to brownish light blue with no black.
- Eyes dark brown with blackish cap. Neck pale blue with fine black dash.
- Thorax light blue, narrow straight black lines on either side of midline from above,narrow black lines of varying width from sides (lines almost absent in KwaZulu-Natal individuals). Wings clear. Pterostigmas black with faint light border and smooth bowlike hind margin.
- Abdomen very slender and long, light blue, becoming bright blue towards tip. Segment 2 with short spear-shaped black marking. Segments 3 to 7 with black lines of varying widths,above, gradually increasing backwards until s 7, which is almost entirely black. S 8 and 9 bright blue. S 10 with short horns,blue with black above. Superior appendages in shape of an eagle’s head in side view.
- Similar in patterning, less extensive patterning on head and thorax, reddish brown rather than greyish blue, abdomen black along top with line broken slightly towards end, stopping at segment 9.
Compared with other species:
- Larger than other Africallagma, Bluet, species in genus, appearing like an Aciagrion. Slims, species and particularly a slender Pseudagrion, Sprite, species, with a narrow black band across top of head, combined with no heavy black on face, nor on back of head, characterising this species. Larger than other Africallagma, Bluet, species in genus, appearing like an Aciagrion. Slims, species and particularly a slender Pseudagrion, Sprite, species, with a narrow black band across top of head, combined with no heavy black on face, nor on back of head, characterising this species.
- Distinguished from other Africallagma species by its longer body, thorax side with very fine black line (or virtually no line), and distinctive appendages, specially superior appendages, when carefully opened out
Distribution and habitat:
Highly localised in Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal montane areas.
Range extends to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Tanzania
Occurs at the edge of small, open clear, grass-fringed streams, seeps and well grassed open pools with
muddy base, in high rocky montane areas at elevations of 1 000 to 2 000 m
- It perches on tall grass stems over running water and occasionally on boulders.
Websites of interest
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species Least Concern.
Odonata Atlas of Africa VMU Number 662380
African Dragonflies & Damselflies Online
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa
Credit: Michael J. Samways & John P. Simaika, Manual of Freshwater Assessment for South Africa:Dragonfly Biotic Index.