Mountain Sprite, Pseudagrion draconis, Berggesie. A-group
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.
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Key identification features:
- 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.
- Light green with black dorsal and humeral stripes, dark greenish abdomen, buff below.
- Abdomen Segments 8 and 9 have a definite blue pattern.
- 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.
- 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.
- Endemic to South Africa,
- 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.
Websites of interest
African Dragonflies & Damselflies online
Odonata Atlas of Africa - VMU Number 663300
The IUCN red List of Threatened Species. Least Concern
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa