Swamp Bluet, Africallagma glaucum, Vleibloutjie
Swamp Bluet, Africallagma glaucum, Vleibloutjie is small, blue and black coloured with blue markings at the end of abdomen, (S8 and S 9). The eyes are blue with black cap that merge with black band on top of the head.
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Key identification features:
- Face and labrum is bright blue. Postclypeus is black.
- On top of the head is a black transverse band that that merge with the black cap on top of the blue eyes. The blue linear postocular spots are linked by a thin blue line across the back of the head.
- Eyes blue with black cap.
- Thorax is blue. The middorsal stripes of the synthorax are black with broad light blue antihumeral stripes. The black humeral stripes are thin and well defined. Sides of the synthorax are light blue. (Sometimes the blue is very light and brownish).
- Wings are clear. Pterostigmas are dark grey to black with fine pale border.
- Abdomen is light blue. A thin black dorsal stripe widens at the hind end of each segment of S3 to S6. A black bell jar pattern in dorsal view on S2 (slightly variable among the different species). The bell is visible (with extended neck of jar) on s 2-6
- The black dorsal stripe tapers off at the end of S7. S8-9 is all blue. S10 is all over blue but with narrow black split above.
- Light yellowish brown with thin black humeral stripes. Light brown linear postocular spots are linked by a thin light brown line. Abdomen is light brown below with a black wide dorsal stripe.
- Frequents still water swampy habitats like pools, dams and still parts of streams and rivers with an abundance of short grasses, reeds, sedges and submerged aquatic vegetation.
- Perch horizontal with closed wings held against abdomen and close to or near the water on plant stems and grasses.
- From 0 to 3200 m above sea level, but mostly below 2000.
Compared with other species:
- Similar to the paler Azuragrion nigridorsum (Sailing Bluet). S8 of A. glaucum is all blue. S8 of A. nigridorsum has a dorsal diagnostic crescent shaped black marking. S10 of A. nigridorsum has a big black dorsal patch and only a thin black dorsal stripe on S10 of A. glaucum.
- The black dorsal stripe on S 3-5 of the abdomen of the A. glaucum is continuous, but it is broken in A. sapphirinum (Sapphire Bluet).
- A. glaucum has dark grey to black pterostigmas and normal wingtips and the Pseudagrion rotundipennis (Round-winged Bluet) has round blue and black pterostigmas and round wingtips.
- S2 looks similar to S2 on Pseudagrion assegai (Assegai Sprite) but on P. assegai the spear shape is larger and can cover up to about ¾ of S2.
- Common throughout SA.
- Angola; Botswana; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Ghana; Kenya; Lesotho; Malawi; Mozambique; Namibia; Republic of South Africa; Swaziland; Tanzania; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Websites of interest
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Odonata Atlas of Africa VMU Number 662630
African Dragonflies & Damselflies Online
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa