Powder-faced Sprite Poeiergesiggie
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a) Male. b) Female
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Powder-faced Sprite, Pseudagrion kersteni, Genus Pseudagrion Selys, (A–group), Family Coenagrionidae, is small, with white pruinescent forehead. Black labrum. Eyes blackish above and light green below. Large bright blue postocular spots that are not linked with a line. Synthorax is heavily pruinescent with whitish blue stripes. The black humeral stripe on the thorax is narrow.
Key identification features:
- Face blueish white pruinosed with black labrum. Head above is black with small bright blue postocular spots that are not linked with a line.
- Green eye with blackish grey cap.
- Thorax is distinctly striped. Black dorsal stripes on thorax with blue antihumeral stripe and a humeral (lateral) black stripe on either side of thorax. The stripes are same width. Heavily light powdery blue pruinescent. Upper legs pruinosed grey.
- Clear wings. Pterostigmas dark brown becoming black with age .
- Abdomen segment 1 and 2 have a greenish side patch becoming pruinescent whitish with age. S4 – 7 are bronze black becoming heavily pruinescent. S8-10 pruinescent whitish blue. Superior appendages has no distinct hook in side view.
- Brightly coloured like the male.
- Polychromatic ranging a brown form, blue form and green form.
- Can be buff, or bright bluish green or orange to rufous brown with dark humeral stripes.
Compared with other species:
- Pseudagrion furcigerum and the Pseudagrion kersteni are the only species with striped thorax that are pale pruinescent.
- Pseudagrion furcigerum has a green labrum and the bigger. Pseudagrion kersteni has a black labrum.
- Pseudagrion furcigerum has a wider thoracic lateral, black stripe.
- Pseudagrion kersteni has very bright blue postocular spots. Pseudagrion furcigerum has pruinescent spots.
- Pseudagrion kersteni has no distinct basal tooth on the superior appendages.
- One of 5 Sprites with a pruinosed forehead The others being P. draconis (Mountain Sprite), P. furcigerum (Palmiet Sprite), P. inopinatum (Balinsky's Sprite) and P. spernatum (Upland Sprite)
- P. Kersteni black labrum diagnostic. P. spernatum labrum green
Distribution and habitat:
- Widespread throughout much of SA. From Western Cape, southern Cape to KZN across the eastern parts of Northern South Africa.
- Frequents long grasses and reeds of sedge-lined streams and small rivers.
- Perch on reed blades or grass stems beside the water. The females stay away from the water in the tall grass.