Balinsky’s Sprite Balinsky-gesie
- Pseudagrion (A) inopinatum Balinsky, 1971
Previously know as Badplaas Sprite
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Key identification features:
- Face and head above mostly black with pruinescent blue dusting. Labrum greenish blue. Postocular spots large, oval, bright blue. Face hairy.
- Eyes black above, green below.
- Neck dark blue to black. Dorsal thorax dark grey blue with grayish pruinescence, dull greenish below. Hairy.
- Wings clear. Pterostigmas rusty brown with pale hind margin.
- Abdomen pruinescent dark blue, with characteristic purplish tip from the last two thirds of segments 7 to 10. Young male abdomen not pruinosed or purple but grey blue on s7 - 10. S7 tower shaped (Eiffel tower-like) with a split in middle and upper part curved Superior appendages with deep cleft
- Striped greenish and black.
- Face green and blue, head dark brown with large bright blue postocular spots.
- Abdomen blackish with a distinct metallic sheen and some bluish grey on the tip. S8 small dot . S9 Mexican hat shape S 10 small squire .
Compared with other species:
- Pseudagrion inopinatum is similar to P. salisburyense (Slater Sprite) but larger. The two species can occur together. Postocular spots large and triangular in P. inopinatum but round and smaller in P. salisburyense. Abdominal tip pruinescent light blue in P. inopinatum but mauvish blue becoming pruinescent in P. salisburyense.
- Neck of P. salisburyense brown, tends to darken with age.
- Sides of the thorax of P. inopinatum are dull brownish blue, whereas they are distinctly blue above and bright green below in P. spernatum (Upland Sprite), which can also occur in the same stretch of water.
- P. makabusiense (Makabusie Sprite) and P. inopinatum has purple markings on s 7 - 10 (when old) and both has markings on s 7
Distribution and habitat:
- Highly localised endemic having only been recorded from the Badplaas–Machadodorp area, Mpumalanga and the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.
- Prefers small, fast flowing, rocky bottomed rivers at about 1 000 m elevation, with a profusion of rocky islands and marginal grasses and reeds. May prefer grassy embankments close to the waters edge
- Rests on reed stems or grasses over running water
Further reading and other information: