Sapphire Bluet. Saffierbloutjie.
Family Coenagrionidae Kirby, 1890
- Africallagma sapphirinum (Pinhey, 1950)
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Small sized, sapphire blue with black rings on abdomen segments 3 to segment 5.
Key identification features:
- Face is sapphire blue and black. The labrum is light blue and the postclypeus black. Top of the head is black. Postocular spots are sapphire blue and linked with a thin blue line.
- Eyes are bright blue with black cap.
- Synthorax is blue. Middorsal stripes of the synthorax are shiny black with blue antihumeral stripes and thin black humeral stripes on either side. Sides of the synthorax are blue.
- Wings are clear and the pterostigmas are dark grey to black with pale border.
- Abdomen is deep sapphire blue and black. Segments one to five are mainly sapphire-blue with a discontinuous black dorsal stripe. The dorsal stripe forms distinct ring-shaped black markings in S3 - S5. The S6, S7 and S10 are mostly black. S 8 and S9 are sapphire blue
- Dull blue with thin black humeral stripes. Blue postocular spots. Abdomen light brown below with similarly dorsal markings as the male.
Compared with other species:
- Africallagma sapphirinum has distinctive bright sapphire blue colour.
- Distinctive black rings on S3-5 of the abdomen. A. sapphirinum has dark grey to black pterostigmas and normal wingtips and the Proischnura rotundipennis has round blue and black pterostigmas and round wingtips.
Distribution and habitat:
- It is endemic to South Africa.
- Found in the grassland highveld of central South Africa. Its natural habitat is pools, dams and still parts of streams and rivers with floating and semi-submerged aquatic vegetation.
- Perch close to the water on plant stems and flies just above the water surface.
Further reading and other interesting information: