Palmiet Sprite     Pseudagrion furcigerum      Palmietgesie.    Flag of South Africa.svg

 Palmiet Sprite, Pseudagrion furcigerum. Male Kogelberg nature reserve

103 008 Pseudagrion furcigerum Palmiet Sprite

103 009 Pseudagrion furcigerum Palmiet Sprite

Family Coenagrionidae Kirby, 1890

Short description:

Palmiet Sprite Pseudagrion furcigerum Palmietgesie is small slate blue damselfly that is pruinosed on thorax, abdomen and forehead. No truly pigmented ocular spots, but pruinescent spots connected with pruinescent line. Green labrum and broad black lateral stripe on the thorax.

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108 014 Pseudagrion furcigerum Palmiet Sprite Male Kogelberg Western Cape 18 11 2015Image Gallery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Key identification features:

Male

  • Face blueish white pruinosed with green labrum. Postocular spots have no truly pigmented ocular spots, but dumb-bell shaped pruinescent spots connected with pruinescent line.
  • Eyes green with blackish grey cap.
  • Black dorsal stripes on thorax with blue antihumeral stripe and a broad humeral (lateral) black stripe on either side of thorax.
  • Thorax below is white or heavily pruinescent.
  • Wings with dark brown pterostigmas.
  • Abdomen segment 1-3 are whitish pruinescence, s4 – S7 are blackish blue with black rings between segments and white underneath. s8-10 pruinescent whitish blue.
  • Superior appendages has a distinct hook in side view and are wide with a small black inward-projecting tooth on the upper clasper.

Female

  • Brightly coloured like the male.
  • Can be buff, or bright bluish green or orange to rufous brown with dark humeral stripes.
  • Rufus orange when young, but becomes distinctly blue when older.
Compared with other species:
  • Pseudagrion furcigerum and Pseudagrion kersteni are the only species with striped thorax that are pale pruinescent.
  • P. furcigerum has a green labrum and the bigger P. kersteni has a black labrum. 
  • P. furcigerum has a wider thoracic lateral, black stripe.
  • P. kersteni has very bright blue postocular spots - P. furcigerum has pruinescent spots.
  • P. furcigerum has a distinct basal tooth on the superior appendages.
Distribution and habitat:

Map May 2020Endemic to south Africa and restricted to the Southern Cape.
Mostly streams, but also rivers and headwaters, in open landscapes. Usually with emergent vegetation,
such as palmiet, often rocks, and/or probably submerged roots
Inferred to occur from 0 to 1400 m above sea level, but mostly below 800.

Behaviour:
  • Perch on reed blades or flat stones. Not very active.
  • Female perches with the male on the stones in the midstream.
Further reading:

Website of interest::
African Dragonflies & Damselflies online
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa
Odonata Atlas of Africa VMU Number 663350
The IUCN red List of Threatened Species. Least Concern

 
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