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Dragonflies & Damselflies Slender Pintail, Acisoma variegatum - Dragonflies & Damselflies

Slender Pintail     Acisoma variegatum     Dunpylstertjie

100 2463 Acisoma variegatum Slender pintail Male Skukuza MP RSA Sept 2018r 2

100 2465 Acisoma variegatum Slender pintail Male MP RSA Febr 2018r 2

100 2467 Acisoma variegatum Slender pintail Female Skukuza MP RSA Sept 2018r 8

 Family Libellulidae Leach, 1815

Short Description:

Slender Pintail, Acisoma variegatum, Dunpylstertjie is very small to small, mosaic bluish grey, greenish yellow and black, with bulbous (spindle shaped) abdomens that taper sharply at mid length, becoming black and ending in cream to light blue appendages.

More images:

100 2463 Acisoma variegatum Slender pintail Male Skukuza MP RSA Sept 2018r 2Image Gallery

100 2456 Acisoma variegatum Slender pintail Male Close up Skukuza Sept 2018r 4Male

100 2446 Acisoma variegatum Slender pintail Female Close up Skukuza MP RSA Febr 2018r 1Female

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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More Images.:
Short Description:

Very small to small, mosaic bluish grey, greenish yellow and black, with bulbous (spindle shaped) abdomens that taper sharply at mid length, becoming black and ending in cream to light blue appendages.

Key identification features:

Male: 100 2463 Acisoma variegatum Slender pintail Male Skukuza MP RSA Sept 2018r 2

  • Face various light colours and black stripes. Labrum cream with basal central black dot. Anteclypeus pencil grey. Postclypeus light blue. Frons with black band in lower part, some black above and at sides, light blue centrally. Head black above. 100 2460 Acisoma variegatum Slender pintail Male Close up Skukuza Sept 2018r 9
  • Eyes bright turquoise. 100 2460 Acisoma variegatum Slender pintail Male Close up Skukuza Sept 2018r 9
  • Thorax light bluish grey, covered with myriad of irregular black lines and dots above and at sides. Dorsal thorax Grey blue but yellowish brown and green when young.Wings clear, with dark brown patch in hind area of hindwing. Pterostigmas relatively long (3 mm), whitish, slightly transparent. 100 2457 Acisoma variegatum Slender pintail Male Close up Skukuza Sept 2018r 6
  • Wings clear with basel amber patch 100 2456 Acisoma variegatum Slender pintail Male Close up Skukuza Sept 2018r 4
  • Abdomen unusual spindle-shaped. Segments 1 to 4 slightly swollen, contrasting with s 5 to 10 which are narrow. S 1 to 7 light bluish grey with black markings, including dorsal stripe. S 8 to 10 black. S 6 is 3× as long as high. S 6 and s 7 is approximately equal in length 100 2476 Acisoma variegatum Slender pintail Male Close up Skukuza Sept 2018f 1111 Lateral abdominal carina partially white. 100 2462 Acisoma variegatum Slender pintail Male Close up Skukuza Sept 2018r 15
  • Appendages  white above, black below.

Female: 100 2599 Acisoma variegatum Slender pintail Female Ndumo KZN RSA Mch 2019r 3

  • Similar in shape as male but abdomen broader.
  • Young males and females similar
  • Pruinose to grey with very little detail visible with age
  • Eyes stray coloured greenish above with light greenish white below with light blue streaks. 100 2453 Acisoma variegatum Slender pintail Female Close up Skukuza MP RSA Febr 2018r 7
  • Thorax (dorsal) and dorsal abdomen is straw coloured to greenish yellow with dark brown and blackish markings Thorax in lateral view greenish yellow above becoming light yellowish green becoming light whitish blue below. 100 2446 Acisoma variegatum Slender pintail Female Close up Skukuza MP RSA Febr 2018r 1
  • Wings clear who. Basel amber patch. Pterostigmas light grey. 100 2450 Acisoma variegatum Slender pintail Female Close up Skukuza MP RSA Febr 2018r 2
  • Abdomen underside of segments 1 to 3 bluish. Abdomen Segments 1 to 4 swollen, contrasting with segments 5 to 10 which are narrow. S 1 to 7 light bluish grey with black markings, including dorsal stripe. S 8 to 10 black. S 6 is 3× as long as high. S6 and s7 is approximately equal in length 100 2477 Acisoma variegatum Slender pintail Female Close up Skukuza MP RSA Febr 2018f 1411 
Compared with other species:
  • Acisoma variegatum (Slender Pintail) abdomen segment 6 is 3× as long as high.(side view). S6 and s7 is approximately equal in length. (Male 100 2476 Acisoma variegatum Slender pintail Male Close up Skukuza Sept 2018f 1111 Female 100 2477 Acisoma variegatum Slender pintail Female Close up Skukuza MP RSA Febr 2018f 1411)
    A. inflatum (Stout Pintail) abdomen segment 6 is 2½ x as long as high. S6 is shorter (about  ¾) than s7  100 2479 Acisoma inflatum Stout Pintail Male Hertzogberg MP Nov 2017f 1011 The difference in S6 - 7 is the primary diagnostic feature when not in hand
  • Acisoma variegatum 1-5 less swollen than s1-5 of  A. inflatum
  • A. inflatum 100 2479 Acisoma inflatum Stout Pintail Male Hertzogberg MP Nov 2017f 1011  has more extensive black markings on the abdomen than the Acisoma variegatum  100 2461 Acisoma variegatum Slender pintail Male Close up Skukuza Sept 2018r 12
  • Side view the lower region of segment 4 is black in the A. inflatum 100 2479 Acisoma inflatum Stout Pintail Male Hertzogberg MP Nov 2017f 1011 but whitish in the A. variegatum 100 2461 Acisoma variegatum Slender pintail Male Close up Skukuza Sept 2018r 12
Distribution and habitat:

Lowland KZN, MP, LP and north eastern NWP. 
Occur at pools, pans, sunny and especially grassy marshes and still reaches of (slow flowing) rivers
with a high density of lilies, sedges and grasses.

Behaviour:
  • Flight is almost wasp-like as it darts over the floating vegetation, frequently settling, usually at least a metre from the bank
Further reading

Websites of interest
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species Least Concern
Odonata Atlas of Africa VMU Number 666770
African Dragonflies & Damselflies Online
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa

 
 

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