101 092 Pseudagrion kersteni Powder faced Sprite Male Tshipise LP RSA October 2012

Powder-faced Sprite    Poeiergesiggie

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Short Description:

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.
  • 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. 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:

http://vmus.adu.org.za/vm_map_afr.php?&database=odonata&grid=2&outline=1&key=0&map=4&spp=663460Widespread throughout much of SA.From Western Cape
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.
Further reading:

Odonata Atlas of Africa - VMU Number 663460
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species  Least Concerned
African Dragonflies & Damselflies Online




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