Palmiet Sprite, Pseudagrion furcigerum. Male 103 008 Pseudagrion furcigerum Palmiet Sprite 103 009 Pseudagrion furcigerum Palmiet Sprite

Palmiet Sprite.     Palmietgesie.      Flag of South Africa.svg

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Short description:

Palmiet Sprite, Pseudagrion furcigerum, Genus Pseudagrion (A–group),  Family Coenagrionidae, ia a 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.

Key identification features:

Male

  • Fece blueish white pruinosed with green labrum. The 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 segment1-3 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.
  • Rufous 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:
  • Endemic to south Africa and restricted to the Southern Cape.
  • Frequents grassy and sedge-lined streams and rivers with stony beds and an abundance of Palmiet reed.
Behaviour:
  • Perch on reed blades or flat stones. Not very active.
  • Female perches with the male on the stones in the midstream.
Further reading:

Books:
A guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa  p. 68      
Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa  p. 81
Dragonfly Biotic Index.    p. 73
Website of interest::
Warwick Tarboton
African Dragonflies & Damsekflies 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
Other Information:
Size Comparison Diagram Dragonflies    Damselflies
Morphology of Dragonfly and Damselfly
Map of South Africa
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