Painted Sprite, Pseudagrion hageni, Blanketselgesie 

101 085 Pseudagrion hageni Race Hageni Painted Sprite Male Oribi Gorge Margate LP RSA December 2010
100 425  Tzaneen LP RSA Mch 2016r 1
100 418 Pseudagrion hageni Painted Sprite Male Moreletta GP RSA Jan 2017r 1
Short description:

Painted Sprite, Pseudagrion hageni, Blanketselgesie is small to medium-sized slender,damselfly with an orangered face.and apple green or orange/red  thorax marks.

  • There are 2 colour variants/subspecies
    • Southern form (P. h.hageni)
    • Northern form (P. h. tropicanum)

Family Coenagrionidae Kirby, 1890

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Key identification features:


Northern form (P. h. tropicanum):

  • Face bright orangey red with light orange labrum and black postclypeus. Head dull black from above with bright orange postocular spots linked by an orange bar.
  • Eyes deep red above, orange below. Neck black with orange and light green spots.
  • Thorax with light green and black stripes, green stripes continuing under first part of abdomen.
  • Wings clear. Pterostigmas light to deep reddish brown.
  • Abdomen slender, black with bronze sheen. Segments 8 and 9 bright violet above. Segment 10 black with a violet coloured triangle pointing towards the front margin when viewed from above.
  • Overall size variable.

Southern form (P. h. hageni):Northern form (P. h. tropicanum)

  • Thorax orangey red and black striped.


  • Pale green/brown and black, brown becoming light blue with age, postocular spots light brownish blue joined by a bar, end of segment 8 and segments 9 and 10 light brownish blue.
  • Occurs in shaded to darkish parts of slow flowing streams and rivers, seeps, bogs and lakes with clear water and marginal tall grasses,with clear water and marginal tall grasses,and a tangle of undergrowth
  • From 0 to 2000 m above sea level, but mostly below 1600.
  • Rests on reed stems or grasses over or near running water
Compared with other species:
  • Easily identified by the bright colours and violet abdominal tip (Segments 8 - 9 ) 
  • P. hageni not as bright as P. newtoni.
  • P. hageni abdominal segments 8 - 9 violet. P. newtoni. abdominal segments 8 - 9 blue/grey.
  • P. newtoni has bright orange and green thorax. P. h. hageni is a red subspecies with ais a red subspecies with a distinctly red thorax. P. h. tropicanum has a greenish thorax
Pseudagrion hageni Painted Sprite Distribution Map July 2020South Africa
Distribution Map
South Africa Physical MapSouth Africa
Physical Map
South africa political map Political MapSouth Africa
Pseudagrio hageni Painted Sprite Distribution Map july 2021Distribution Map
Arica PhysicalPhysical MapAfrica
Africa PoliticalPolitical MapAfrica



South Africa

  • Southern form (P. h.southern form (P. h.hageni ) occurs occurs in WCP along the coast to the ECP.
  • Northern form (P. h. tropicanum) occurs from central ECP  northwards to East and West Africa.


  • Botswana; Burundi; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Kenya; Malawi; Mozambique; Republic of South Africa; Swaziland; Tanzania; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Further reading

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