Mountain Sprite, Pseudagrion draconis, Berggesie. A-group  Flag of South Africa.svg

105 007 Pseudagrion draconis Mountain Sprite

117 038 Pseudagrion draconis Mountain Sprite

103 010 Pseudagrion draconis Mountain Sprite

Short Description:

Mountain Sprite, Pseudagrion draconis, Berggesie is small slate blue damsel with mauvish blue abdominal tip. It has a black face with pruinose forehead and a black labrum. The postocular spots are blue circular to oval. The Western Cape populations lack the postocular spots.

Family Coenagrionidae Kirby, 1890

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Pseudagrion draconis Image Gallery

Pseudagrion draconisMale

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Key identification features:

Male:

  • Face and labrum are mostly black.
  • Frons is black and heavy pruinescent white.
  • Eyes are black above and green below.
  • Wings are clear with dark, reddish brown pterostigmas.
  • Thorax is slate to navy blue above and light green below - with age becoming a little pruinescent. Undefined, very short cross stripe, originating from the hind end of the humeral stripe.
  • Abdomen is slate blue with bronze sheen, greenish or buff below - S8-9 is mauvish blue dorsal becoming pruinescent grey in old individuals.

Female:

  • Light green with black dorsal and humeral stripes, dark greenish abdomen, buff below.
  • Abdomen Segments 8 and 9 have a definite blue pattern.
Habitat:
  • Mostly streams, but also rivers, in open landscapes or open areas in forest. Often calmer sections (like pools), usually with emergent vegetation and/or probably submerged roots.
  • Inferred to occur from 0 to 2700 m above sea level, but mostly below 600 in west of range.
Behaviour:
  • It hovers low and close to water of the slower sunlight reaches of clear montane streams and rivers - often perches on boulders in the mid stream.
Compared with other species:
  • Face of P. draconis is mostly black with black labrum, while face of P. salisburyense is greyish green or blue with greenish or bluish labrum. 
  • P. furcigerum has a green labrum.
  • P. spernatum lacks the mauve on the the terminal segments of the abdomen.
  • P. draconisis has an undefined very short cross stripe originating from the hind end of the humeral stripe, while the P spernatum a definite cross stripe from the hind end of the humeral stripe towards the antihumeral stripe.
 Distribution:

Pseudagrion draconis Mountain Sprite Distribution Map July 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

South Africa:

  • Endemic to South Africa,   Flag of South Africa.svg
  • From the Western Cape mountains through to the mountains of the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. In the Drakensberg, it may reach 2 100 m elevation. 
Further reading:

Websites of interest
African Dragonflies & Damselflies online
Odonata Atlas of Africa - VMU Number 663300
The IUCN red List of Threatened Species. Least Concern
INaturalist
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa

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