101 085 Pseudagrion hageni Race Hageni Painted Sprite Male Oribi Gorge Margate LP RSA December 2010100 425 Pseudagrion hageni Painted Sprite Tzaneen LP RSA Mch 2016r 1100 418 Pseudagrion hageni Painted Sprite Male Moreletta GP RSA Jan 2017r 1

Painted Sprite n  Blanketselgesie

Family Coenagrionidae Kirby, 1890

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100 418 Pseudagrion hageni Painted Sprite Male Moreletta GP RSA Jan 2017r 1

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Short description:

Small to medium-sized slender,damselfly with an orangered face.and apple green or orange/red  thorax marks.

Key identification features:


    Northern form (P. h. tropicanum)
  • Face bright orangey red with light orange labrum and black postclypeus. Head dull black from above with bright orange postocular spots linked by an orange bar.
  • Eyes deep red above, orange below. Neck black with orange and light green spots.
  • Thorax with light green and black stripes, green stripes continuing under first part of abdomen.
  • Wings clear. Pterostigmas light to deep reddish brown.
  • Abdomen slender, black with bronze sheen. Segments 8 and 9 bright violet above. Segment 10 black with a violet coloured triangle pointing towards the front margin when viewed from above.
  • Overall size variable. 
  • Southern form (P. h. hageni):
  • Thorax orangey red and black striped.


  • Pale green/brown and black, brown becoming light blue with age, postocular spots light brownish blue joined by a bar, end of segment 8 and segments 9 and 10 light brownish blue.
Compared with other species:
  • Easily identified by the bright colours and violet abdominal tip (Segments 8 - 9 ) 
  • P. hageni not as bright as P. newtoni.
  • P. hageni abdominal segments 8 - 9 violet. P. newtoni. abdominal segments 8 - 9 blue/grey.
  • P. newtoni has bright orange and green thorax. P. h. hageni is a red subspecies with ais a red subspecies with a distinctly red thorax. P. h. tropicanum has a greenish thorax
Distribution and habitat:

http://vmus.adu.org.za/vm_map_afr.php?&database=odonata&grid=2&outline=1&key=0&map=3&spp=663410Southern form (P. h.southern form (P. h.hageni ) occurs occurs in WCp along the coast to the ECP. Northern
form (P. h. tropicanum) occurs from central ECP  northwards to East and West Africa.
Occurs in shaded to darkish parts of slow flowing streams and rivers, seeps, bogs and lakes with clear water
and marginal tall grasses,with clear water and marginal tall grasses,and a tangle of undergrowth

  • Rests on reed stems or grasses over or near running water
Further reading


Odonata Atlas of Africa Number 663410
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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