Great Sprite, Pseudagrion gamblesi, Grootgesie  A-group

100 2392 Pseudagrion gamblesi Great Sprite Male Songimvelo Nature Reserve MP RSA Febr 2019r 10

100 2393 Pseudagrion gamblesi Great Sprite Male Songimvelo Nature Reserve MP RSA Febr 2019r 2

100 2400 Pseudagrion gamblesi Great Sprite Female Songimvelo Nature Reserve MP RSA Febr 2019r 2

Short description:

Great Sprite, Pseudagrion gamblesi, Grootgesie is fairly large sized, striped greenish blue and black with a yellowish orange face.

Family Coenagrionidae Kirby, 1890

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100 2392 Pseudagrion gamblesi Great Sprite Male Songimvelo Nature Reserve MP RSA Febr 2019r 10Images










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Key identification features:


  • Face and labrum bright yellowish orange with yellow reaching high up next to the frons. Postclypeus with black basal band.
  • Head black with large round light blue postocular spots from above.
  • Eyes black above, yellowish orange below light brown ring below black upper area. May darken with age and combine with black
  • Neck light greenish brown and black. Thorax distinctly striped from above, light greenish brown and greyish black, sides light greenish blue.
  • Wings clear. Pterostigmas dark brown with fine light brown margins, angular.
  • Abdomen black with bronze sheen from above, light greenish blue to light brown below, curves slightly upwards. Segments 8 and 9 bright blue becoming very pruinescent and whitish with age. Segment 10 blackish. Appendages very long. Reddish brown and black with large round brown postocular spots, pterostigmas light brown.


  • Face light green not yellow as in male
  • Light green and black
  • Large round brown postocular spots,
  • Pterostigmas light brown
  • Abdomen metallic green on top, light green below with yellow rings at segmet divisions
  • S 8 - 10 black above light green below wit light green edges
  • Mostly rivers, but also streams with rocky bottoms, in open landscapes, uplands savanna, but sometimes shaded by gallery forest. Often faster sections, usually with emergent vegetation with side pools fringed with tall grasses, reeds, herbs and probably often submerged roots.
  • Occur from 100 to 1700 m above sea level, but mostly between 500 and 1600.
  • It is an inactive species, mostly seen resting on reed stems overhanging water
  • Female lives with males
Compared with other species:
  • The largest Pseudagrion species in southern Africa.
  • Also, a combination of very striped thorax, yellowish orange face with large, light blue postocular spots, bright blue or pruinescent whitish abdominal tip and long appendages are characteristic.
  • Pseudagrion citricola, Yellow-faced Sprite and P. caffrum, Springwater Sprite has yollow faces, P. citricola has dark eyes.P. caffrum Has dark upper eyes much darker the P. gamblesi.
  • P. caffrum has no postocular spots nor blue terminal segments on abdomen.
  • P. citricola has dark grey to violet terminal segments on abdomen

Distribution Map July 2020










South Africa:

  • Found in KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Limpopo Province.


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

Odonata Atlas of Africa Number 663360
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species  Least Concern
African Dragonflies & Damselflies Online



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