Balinsky’s Sprite, Pseudagrion inopinatum, Balinsky-gesie (A-group)  Flag of South Africa.svg

100 003Male Badplaas MP RSA Febr 2019

100 246  female Badplaas MP RSA Mch 2019r 10

100 251   female Badplaas MP RSA Mch 2019r 4

Short description:

Balinsky’s Sprite, Pseudagrion inopinatum, Balinsky-gesie is fairly large sized, striped greenish blue and black with a yellowish orange face.

Previously know as Badplaas Sprite

Family Coenagrionidae Kirby, 1890

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100 048 Pseudagrion inopinatum Balinsky s Sprite Male Badplaas MP RSA Febr 2019r 2Image










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Key identification features:

Male:  100 048 Pseudagrion inopinatum Balinsky s Sprite Male Badplaas MP RSA Febr 2019r 2

  • Face and head above mostly black with pruinescent blue dusting. Labrum greenish blue. Postocular spots large, oval, bright blue. Face hairy.
  • Eyes black above, green below.
  • Neck dark blue to black. Dorsal thorax dark grey blue with grayish pruinescence, dull greenish  below. Hairy.
  • Wings clear. Pterostigmas rusty brown with pale hind margin.
  • Abdomen pruinescent dark blue, with characteristic purplish tip from the last two thirds of segments 7 to 10. Young male abdomen not pruinosed or purple but grey blue on s7 - 10.  S7 tower shaped (Eiffel tower-like) with a split in middle and upper part curved Superior appendages with deep cleft

Female:   100 246 Pseudagrion inopinatum Balinsky Sprite female Badplaas MP RSA Mch 2019r 10

  • Striped greenish and black.
  • Face green and blue, head dark brown with large bright blue postocular spots.
  • Abdomen blackish with a distinct metallic sheen and some bluish grey on the tip. S8 small dot . S9 Mexican hat shape S 10 small squire .
  • Prefers small, fast flowing, rocky bottomed rivers at about 1 000 m elevation, with a profusion of rocky islands and
    marginal grasses and reeds. May prefer grassy embankments close to the waters edge
  • Rests on reed stems or grasses over or near running water
Compared with other species:
  • Pseudagrion inopinatum is similar to  P. salisburyense (Slater Sprite) 100 161 Pseudagrion salisbryense Slate Sprite Male Badplaas MP RSA Febr 2019r 2  but larger. The two species can occur together. Postocular spots large and triangular in P. inopinatum  but round and smaller in P. salisburyense. Abdominal tip pruinescent light blue in P. inopinatum but mauvish blue becoming pruinescent in P. salisburyense.
  • Neck of P. salisburyense brown, tends to darken with age.
  • Sides of the thorax of  P. inopinatum are dull brownish blue, whereas they are distinctly blue above and bright green below in P. spernatum (Upland Sprite), which can also occur in the same stretch of water.
  • P. makabusiense (Makabusie Sprite) 100 111 Pseudagrion makabusience Makabusi Sprite Male Ezemvelo GP RSA Jan 2016r 6  and P. inopinatum has purple markings on s 7 - 10 (when old) and both has markings on s 7
Related Species

Distribution Map July 2020










South Africa  Flag of South Africa.svg
  • Highly localised endemic having only been recorded from the Badplaas–Machadodorp area, Mpumalanga
    and the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.
Further reading