Catshead Sprite, Pseudagrion (B) coeleste, Broodruggesie
Catshead Sprite, Pseudagrion (B) coeleste, Broodruggesie small sized bright blue damsel with cat’s head marking on S2 of the abdomen.
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Key identification features:
- Eyes greenish with a sky-blue body with black markings.
- Face green or blue, sometimes yellowish. Back of head is black with large pale bluish green postocular spots.
- Black band on top of the head reach the bases of the antenna.
- Upper thorax is bluish green with black humeral stripe. Side of the thorax is light blue with black stripe. Wings are clear with light brown to dark mauvish brown pterostigmas.
- Abdomen greenish blue below with black dorsal stripe. S1 is blue with black basal spot. The marking on S2 is shaped like a cat's head. This may vary in the northern region (catshead shape with long rabbit like ears) or in Southern form (short cat ears). S3-7 has shiny rings. S8-9 seldom with narrowly black apical border, often all blue. S10 is blue with black dorsal X and black appendages. Cerci almost as long as S10, angle of inner border of lower branch of cerci rather obtuse (dorsal view), rather than with sharp angle.
- Greenish blue with large green postocular spots.
- Upper thorax is brown with black humeral stripe.
Frequents and rest the fringes of swamps, marshes, pools, and dammed reaches of rivers with an abundance of grass, floating lily pads, often aquatic vegetation, reeds and sedges. From 0 to 1600 m above sea level.
- Rests and flits among emergent, rank vegetation. Often rests on lily pads.
Compared with other species:
- Distinct postocular spots
- Thoracic blue stripe of Pseudagrion coeleste is much wider than that of Pseudagrion assegaii (Asssegaai Sprite)
- Abdominal marking on S2 is cat's head shaped in P. Coeleste, but spear-shaped in Pseudagrion assegaii. Female are more blueish than females of other sprite species.
- Eastern Lowveld of South Africa and North eastern KZN.
- Angola; Botswana; Malawi; Mozambique; Namibia; Republic of South Africa; Tanzania; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Websites of interest
- Odonata Atlas of Africa - VMU Number 663710
- African Dragonflies and Damselflies Online
- The IUCN red list of Threatened Species (Least Concern)
- A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa