Swamp Bluet. Vleibloutjie
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Images in nature of Swamp Bluet
Swamp Bluet, Africallagma glaucum, Genus Africallagma, Family Coenagrionidae, is small, blue and black coloured with blue markings at the end of abdomen, (S8 and S 9, and blue eyes with black cap that coincides with black band on top of the head.
Key identification features:
Face and labrum is bright blue. On top of the head is a black transverse band that that coincides with the black cap on top of the blue eyes. The linear blue postocular spots are linked by a thin blue line. The synthorax is blue. The middorsal stripes of the synthorax are black with broad light blue antihumeral stripes and thin black humeral stripes on either side. Sides of the synthorax are light blue. (Sometimes the blue is very light and brownish). The wings are clear and the pterostigmas are dark grey to black with fine pale border. Abdomen is light blue. A thin black dorsal stripe widens at the hind end of each segment of S3 to S6. A bell jar pattern on S2 (slightly variable among the different subjects) and the black dorsal stripe tapers off at the end of S7. S8-9 is all blue. S10 is blue with fine black stripe above.
Female is light yellowish brown with thin black humeral stripes. Light brown linear postocular spots are linked by a thin light brown line. Abdomen is light brown below with a black wide dorsal stripe.
Compared with other species:
Similar to the paler Azuragrion nigridorsum. S8 of A. glaucum is all blue and S8 of A. nigridorsum has a black patch. S10 of A. nigridorsum has a big black dorsal patch and only a thin black dorsal stripe on S10 of A. glaucum. The black dorsal stripe on S 3-5 of the abdomen of the A. glaucum is continuous, but it is broken in A. sapphirinum. A. glaucum has dark grey to black pterostigmas and normal wingtips and the Pseudagrion rotundipennis has round blue and black pterostigmas and round wingtips.S2 looks similar to S2 on Pseudagrion assegai but on P. assegaii the spear shape is larger and can cover up to about ¾ of S2. On A. glaucum the bel jar shape can vary with the parallel jar line being narrower on some subjects
Distribution and habitat:
Common throughout SA.
Frequents still water swampy habitats like pools, dams and still parts of streams and rivers with an abundance of short grasses, reeds, sedges and submerged aquatic vegetation.
Perch close to or near the water on plant stems and grasses. Perches horizontal with closed wings held against abdomen.