Upland Sprite Hooglandgesie
Previously called Powder Sprite
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Medium sized with green and slate blue marks on the thorax and all dark slate blue abdomen.
Key identification features:
- Face greenish with heavy white pruinescence. Labrum green or greenish blue with three basal black spots, edged with black. Cheeks lime green. Anteclypeus green to greenish blue. Head black above, heavily pruinescentin front. Postocular spots large, roundish,bright blue.
- Eyes black above, lime green below.Neck dark slate blue above with greenish sides that become pruinescent.
- Thorax dark slate blue becoming heavily whitish pruinescent, sides light green. Wings clear. Pterostigmas bright reddish brown. Wing veins brownish when young.
- Abdomen dark slate blue above, greyish blue below, becoming heavily whitish pruinescent with age. Yong males has distinct blue pattern on s 7- 10 disappearing with age.
- Striking, light sky blue and black with distinct round blue postocular spots, Abdomen blackish above, greenish below.Segments 8 to 10 bright blue above with distinct patterns on S 9- 0
Compared with other species:
- When mature, it is very distinctive being all dark slate blue with an all pruinescent whitish, powdery covering.
- Powder face marking can be confused with Powder-faced Sprite P. kersteni, Mountain Sprite P. draconis (cohabit)
- Young easily confused with Slate Sprite Pseudagrion salisburyense, as both have roundish blue postocular spots and blue abdominal tips.
- Female abdominal segment 8 - 10 similar t o female Palmiet Sprite, P, furcigerum
- Pterostigmas also lighter and distinctly reddish P. spernatumin whereas they are darker, duller and more blackish in P. salisburyense.
Distribution and habitat:
Widespread and locally abundant throughout the mountains from the southern Cape to Mpumalanga and
Limpopo Province and north to Ethiopia
Mostly streams, but also rivers, in open landscapes, but sometimes shaded by gallery forest.
Usually with emergent vegetation and often rocks and a gravelly bottom clear mountain streams,
probably especially calmer (like pools) and faster sections (rapids, falls).
From 0 to 2900 m above sea level, but mostly between 900 and 2000.
- Perches on the grasses surrounding flowing rocky stream where it is actively hunting therefore easily seen. Females often seen with males. Perch horizontally close to the water.
Credit Michael J. Samways & John P. Simaika. Manual of Freshwater Assessment for South Africa: Dragonfly Biotic Index