Common Threadtail. Dewone Draadstertjie.
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Small sized, slender, and strongly striped in bluish grey and black.
Key identification features:
- Face is dark grey with a strong greyish white pruinescence. The labrum is blackish. Head is greyish black from above. Neck is a pruinescent greyish blue.
- Eyes are blackish brown above, turning turquoise midway, green below; dark ring present midway.
- Thorax is distinctly pruinescent greyish blue from above with a distinctive black stripe on the shoulder. Area between the wing bases with small light brown blotches.
- Wings are clear. Pterostigmas dark are brown with fine light brown borders.
- Abdomen dark bluish black with fine indistinct buff rings. Segments 1 and 2 pruinescent above, segments 8 to 10 heavily pruinescent greyish white.
- Young males similar to females bite brown with white markings on s 7-10
- Slightly larger and more robust than male,
- Thorax patterning brown and dark brown with creamy brown stripes Dark version very dark almost blackish brown with creamy white strips
- Abdomen with distinct white, browning slightly with age, markings on s 7-10.
Compared with other species:
- Distinguished from Elattoneura frenulata by being bluish grey and not black and is rare in southwestern WCP.
- It is smaller and much more slender than any species and the dorsal, wide, greyish blue thoracic stripes give it a 'greybacked' appearance.
- Striped Pseudagrion species have wider black stripes than blue when viewed from above.
- Appendages distinctive.
Distribution and habitat:
- Abundant and widespread across much of the country, There are few records from the Karoo and it is localised and rare on the coast and in the Lowveld.
- It occurs up to 1 700 m in elevation.
- Habitat is tall grasses beside sluggish reaches of rivers and occasionally pools, marshes and dams.
- Reluctant to fly and is most often seen perching on grass stems. Its flight is slow and hovering, covering just a few centimeters.
Description information by Michael J Samways