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Upland Sprite, Pseudagrion spernatum, Hooglandgesie, A-Group

100 987 Pseudagrion spernatum Upland Sprite Male Komati Lodge MP RSA Oct 2020r 4Male
100 990 Pseudagrion spernatum Upland Sprite Young Male Sabi LP RSA Sep 2016r 1Young Male
100 487 Pseudagrion spernatum Upland Sprite Female Sabi LP RSA Dec 2015r 7Female

Short Description:

Upland Sprite, Pseudagrion spernatum, Hooglandgesie, A-Group. Medium sized with green and slate blue marks on the thorax and all dark slate blue abdomen.

Family Coenagrionidae Kirby, 1890

Previously called Powder Sprite

More Images

100 486 Pseudagrion spernatum Upland Sprite Female Sabi LP RSA Dec 2015r 5Female Image Gallery

 

Key identification features:

Male:

  • Face greenish with heavy white pruinescence. Labrum green or greenish blue with three basal black spots, edged with black. Cheeks lime green. Anteclypeus green to greenish blue. Head black above, heavily pruinescent in front. Postocular spots large, roundish, bright blue. Neck brown 
  • Eyes black above, lime green below. Neck dark slate blue above with greenish sides that become pruinescent.
  • Thorax extensively black to dark slate blue, usually with distinct (sometimes pruinose) antihumeral stripes. When young the antihumeral stripe is well defined linking to the interpleural stipe following the hind margin of the thorax The interpleural stripe links with the metapleural stripe  with a well defined stripe at the hindmargin of the thorax . The metapleural strip may continue to the front margin of the thorax This well defined stripes become less well defined with age Sides light green. Legs usually, at least, broadly marked with black. Brown between wings.
  • Wings clear. with dark brown to black veins, brownish when young.. Pterostigma bright reddish brown.
  • Abdomen dark slate blue above, greyish blue below, becoming heavily whitish pruinescent with age. Young males has distinct blue pattern on s 7- 10 100 485 Pseudagrion spernatum Upland Sprite Young Male Sabi LP RSA Dec 2015r 2(slightly reminiscent of the pattern displayed on the female S8 -10) 100 490 Pseudagrion spernatum Upland Sprite Female Sabi LP RSA Dec 2015r 8becoming dark blue and (may) disappearing with age. Cerci short, only slightly longer than paraprocts (lateral view), lower branch only slightly longer than upper, gap between them mere notch or slit, flange of lower branch usually rather prominent and oblique relative to main axis of cercus (dorsal view). Paraprocts pointed and up-turned. Brown in dorsal view. Brown between cerci in dorsal view.

Female:

  • Striking, light sky blue and black with distinct round blue postocular spots. Transitioning from a light brown to blue with age. 100 486 Pseudagrion spernatum Upland Sprite Female Sabi LP RSA Dec 2015r 5
  • Abdomen blackish, almost dark metallic green above, greenish below. Light brown when young Segments 8 - 10 bright blue above with distinct patterns on S 8 - 10 When young the patterns are brown transitioning from s10 to s 5 to blue. This pattern may darken to light blue with age 
Habitat:
  • Mostly species of open or montane habitats, streams, but also rivers, in open landscapes, but sometimes shaded by gallery forest. Usually with emergent vegetation and often rocks and a gravelly bottom clear mountain streams, probably especially calmer (like pools) and faster sections (rapids, falls).
  • From 0 to 2900 m above sea level, but mostly between 900 and 2000.
Behaviour:
  • Perches on the grasses surrounding flowing rocky stream where it is actively hunting therefore easily seen. Females often seen with males. Perch horizontally close to the water.
Compared with other species:
  • When mature, it is very distinctive being all dark slate blue with an all pruinescent whitish, powdery covering.
  • Powder face marking can be confused with Powder-faced Sprite P. kersteni, Mountain Sprite P. draconis (cohabit)
  • Young easily confused with Slate Sprite Pseudagrion salisburyense, as both have roundish blue postocular spots and blue abdominal tips.
  • Brown Pterostigmas. Springwater Sprite P caffrum distinct reddish brown
  • Female abdominal  segment 8 - 10 similar to female Palmiet Sprite, P, furcigerum
  • Pterostigmas also lighter and distinctly reddish P. spernatumin whereas they are darker, duller and more blackish in P. salisburyense.
Distribution

Pseudagrion spernatum Upland Sprite Distribution Map July 2020Distribution Map
South Africa

South Africa Physical MapTopographical Map

map of south africa maxPolitical Map

Pseudagrion spernatum Upland Sprite Africa Distribution Map Sept 2021Distribution Map
Africa

Geological Map AfricaTopographical Map

africa countriesPolitical Map

South Africa
  • Widespread and locally abundant throughout the mountains from the southern Cape to Mpumalanga and Limpopo Province and north to Ethiopia
Africa
  • Burundi; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Ethiopia; Kenya; Malawi; Mozambique; Republic of South Africa; Rwanda; Swaziland; Tanzania; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe

Learn more about species in Sprite A-group

  • B-Group
  • To view a list of B-Group Sprite images Click HERE
Further reading:

Websites of interest

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