Springwater Sprite.    Fonteingesie.

Family Coenagrionidae Kirby, 1890

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Short Description:

Small,with a deep blue body and bright rusty red pterostigmas,no postocular spots and a yellow face.

Key identification features:


  • Face sunflower yellow, with side of face yellow to the lowe head forming hornlike markings.Base of antennae yellow against the black head giving the horn-like face markings a distinct black split line  This split line is diagnostic.  Postclypeus black. Head black from above, no postocular spots but faint roundish markings sometimes present on young males. Postclypeus black
  • Eyes black above, brownish yellow band becoming greenish yellow below.
  • Neck and thorax shiny deep blue with pale pruinescent sides.
  • Wings clear. Pterostigma Noticeably bright rusty reddish brown.
  • Abdomen dark blue above, yellowish green below, can become light grey pruinescent with age. Upper claspers black  with lowe clasper white and black.


  • Eyes dark brown to black above, greenish band becoming  yellow below.
  • Face similar to male but light turquoise blue. Base of antennae turquoise blue Postclypeus black 
  • Thorax middorsal carina light brown. with middorsal stripe  deep blue-black. Humaral stripe brown. Antihumeral stripe deep blue to black. Lower thorax light blue
  • Abdomen deep blue above light blue below S8 - 9 with distinctive pattern s10 light blue on top
Compared with other species:
  • Pseudagrion citricola,  Yellow-faced Sprite has postocular spots. Upper side of s 7 -9  violet blue to grey when pruinosed.
  • P. citricola  antena bas not yellow but black therefore not showing the black split  line next to the antennae as in P. caffrum 
  • P. citricola also occurs on sluggish or still reaches of streams and rivers, not with riffles as in P. caffrum
  • Pseudagrion gamblesi, Great Sprite, are large, with very striped thorax, yellow face, large light blue postocular spots, brightbrightblue or pruinescent whitish segments 8 - 9 and long appendages 
Distribution and habitat:

http://vmus.adu.org.za/vm_map_afr.php?&database=odonata&grid=2&outline=1&key=0&map=4&spp=663250Endemic to South Africa. From Amatola–Winterberg of the Eastern Cape through to the KZN and MP Drakensberg
Prefer shallow rocky feeder streams with riffles, streams, mostly headwater streams, mostly in open landscapes. Usually with  dense grasses and sedges along soggy banks als with emergent vegetation.
From 700 to 1500 m above sea level, but possibly up to 2200.

  • Perch cryptically among grass and sedge stems. When perching over water  it rest close to the wate. Reluctant to fly. Females often with males
Further reading:

Odonata Atlas of Africa - VMU Number 663250
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



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