Springwater Sprite. Pseudagrion caffrum, Fonteingesie.   Endemic to South Africa

100 3753 Pseudagrion caffrum Springwater Sprite Male Belfast MPDec 2022r 1
100 3756 Pseudagrion caffrum Springwater Sprite Male Belfast MPDec 2022r 12
100 3759 Pseudagrion caffrum Springwater Sprite Male Belfast MPDec 2022r 14
Short Description:

Small,with a deep blue body and bright rusty red pterostigmas,no postocular spots and a yellow face.

Family Coenagrionidae Kirby, 1890

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Key identification features:


  • Face sunflower yellow to light orange, with side of face yellow to the lower head forming hornlike markings.Base of antennae yellow against the black head giving the horn-like face markings a distinct black split line  This split line is diagnostic.  Postclypeus black. Head black from above, no postocular spots but faint roundish markings sometimes present on young males. Postclypeus black
  • Eyes black above, brownish yellow band becoming light greenish yellow below.
  • Neck and thorax shiny deep blue with pale pruinescent sides.
  • Wings clear. Wing roots distinctly yellow (diagnostic) when Pterostigma noticeably bright rusty reddish brown.
  • Abdomen dark blue above, yellowish green below, can become light grey pruinescent with age. Upper claspers black  with lower clasper white and black.


  • More robust than male.
  • Straw brown to rusty red and black head and thorax, and dorsally blackish brown
  • Abdomen, with pale mauvish blue markings on S9-10

Prefer shallow rocky feeder streams with riffles, streams, mostly headwater streams, mostly in open landscapes. Usually with  dense grasses and sedge along soggy banks also with emergent vegetation.
From 700 to 1500 m above sea level, but possibly up to 2200.

  • Perch cryptically among grass and sedge stems. When perching over water  it rest close to the water. Reluctant to fly. Females often with males
Compared with other species:
  • Pseudagrion citricola,  Yellow-faced Sprite has postocular spots. Upper side of s 7 -9  violet blue to grey when pruinosed.
  • P. citricola antenna base not yellow but black therefore not showing the black split line next to the antennae as in P. caffrum 
  • P. citricola also occurs on sluggish or still reaches of streams and rivers, not with riffles as in P. caffrum
  • Pseudagrion gamblesi, Great Sprite, are large, with very striped thorax, yellow face, large light blue postocular spots, bright blue or pruinescent whitish segments 8 - 9 and long appendages 

Endemic to South Africa. From Amatola–Winterberg of the Eastern Cape through to the KZN and MP Drakensberg

Pseudagrion caffrum Springwater Sprite Distribution Map July 2020 MapDistribution Map,
South Africa

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