Graceful Slim. Sierskraaltjie.
Previously known as the Emerald Slim Aciagion pinhey or Emerald-striped Slim
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Graceful Slim, Aciagrion gracile, is very slender, with a bluish-green and black head. The thorax is bright emerald green and black, with distinctive humeral stripes. Long very slender blackish abdomen, bright blue at tip.
Key identification features:
- Face bluish green. Labrum bluish green with a central and two lateral black dots.Cheeks bluish green. Anteclypeus bluish green with fine brown tracery. Postclypeus black with bluish green margin and two bluish green triangles.Frons green in front. Head matt black from above with large green triangular postocular spots between, green bar almost connecting but not quite touching postocular spots.
- Eyes bright greenwith small black cap.
- Neck black above with green front margin and large green spots on sides.
- Thorax black above, bright emerald green withfine black stripe at sides, buff below. Area between wings black with green dots.
- Wings clear,distinct brown smudges in cells behind pterostigmas. Pterostigmas very short, especially in hindwing,smoky brown with fine whitish borders.
- Abdomen very slender, metallic black above,bluish green sides to segments 1 - 4. Segments 8 - 10 bright blue. S 10 with fine black margin with a notch in it. Appendages short, conicalin side view.
- Same patterning as male, pale green and black on head and thorax,head and thorax, characteristic salmon-pink abdomen tip.Note: this species has recently undergone
Compared with other species:
- Possible to be confused with A. dondoense, Opal Slim. Claspers are different. Thorax colour also differ with A. dondoense being blueish in colour
Distribution and habitat:
- Found in the Limpopo valley and low north eastern coastal plains of KZN, South Africa.
- Natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests, dry savanna, moist savanna, rivers, intermittent rivers, shrub-dominated wetlands, swamps, freshwater marshes, and intermittent freshwater marshes.
- Male flits and glides among thick bush and tall grass next to pools
- Female cruises among tall grass and reed stems in the pool.
Credit for description to Michael J. Samways & John P. Simaika
Manual of Freshwater Assessment for South Africa: Dragonfly Biotic Index