African Piedspot,      Hemistigma albipunctum      Bontkolletjie.

100 656 Hemistigma albipuncta Pied spot Male Kasane April 2014

100 659 Hemistigma albipuncta Pied spot Male Kasane April 2014 r 5

101 537 Hemistigma albipunctum African Piedspot Female Tshipise LP RSA April 2014

Short description:

African Piedspot, Hemistigma albipunctum, Bontkolletjie is small sized, slender, powdery pale blue dragonfly with creamish face and bi-coloured pterostigmas.

Family Libellulidae Leach, 1815
 More Images:

100 1203 Hemistigma albipuncta Pied spot Female Banga Neck Mch 2017r 1Image Gallery

100 2531 Hemistigma albipuncta Piedspot Male Close up Kozibay KZN RSA Mch 2019r 3Male

101 633 Hemistigma albipunctum African Piedspot Teneral Male Nwanedi LP RSA SEP 2016Male
Teneral

100 2148 Hemistigma albipuncta Piedspot Female Close up Nwanedi LP RSA Dec 2018r 3Female

100 2258 Hemistigma albipuncta Pied spot Female Banga Neck Kosi Bay KZN RSA Mch 2017r 2Female

 

 

 

 

 

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Key identification features:

Male: 100 659 Hemistigma albipuncta Pied spot Male Kasane April 2014 r 5

  • Face have a shiny slightly blue metallic frons100 2535 Hemistigma albipuncta Piedspot Male Close up Kozibay KZN RSA Mch 2019r 16 with creamy dot either side of the facial shield. 100 2927 Hemistigma albipuncta Piedspot Male Close up1 Kozibay KZN RSA Mch 2019r 12  Head shiny black above with slight metallic blue sheen. 100 2926 Hemistigma albipuncta Piedspot Male Close up1 Kozibay KZN RSA Mch 2019r 11 
  • Eyes mid grey above, 100 2535 Hemistigma albipuncta Piedspot Male Close up Kozibay KZN RSA Mch 2019r 16
  • Thorax mottled yellow becoming  pruinescent greyish blue with whitish hairs. Hemistigma albipuncta Piedspot Male Close up Kozibay KZN RSA Mch 2019r 4 Creamy stripe on the dorsal thorax carina. 100 2533 Hemistigma albipuncta Piedspot Male Close up Kozibay KZN RSA Mch 2019r 5 May disappear with age 100 2534 Hemistigma albipuncta Piedspot Male Close up Kozibay KZN RSA Mch 2019r 6
  • Wings light smokey with bright yellow amber between the the costa end radius veins becoming darker towards the outer margin of the wing 100 2538 Hemistigma albipuncta Piedspot Male Close up Kozibay KZN RSA Mch 2019r 13. Forewing usually but not always with a dark almost black amber streak between the costa and radius vein (± Ax 3 to Ax 9), a smoky patch. 100 2538 Hemistigma albipuncta Piedspot Male Close up Kozibay KZN RSA Mch 2019r 13  Pterostigmas distinctly whitish on inside yet blackish on outside.100 2540 Hemistigma albipuncta Piedspot Male Close up Kozibay KZN RSA Mch 2019r 18
  • Cerci are short whitish with black edge stripes and black tips100 2537 Hemistigma albipuncta Piedspot Male Close up Kozibay KZN RSA Mch 2019r 12

Female: 100 1203 Hemistigma albipuncta Pied spot Female Banga Neck Mch 2017r 1

  • Thorax sides  mostly plain, yellowish. 100 2654 Hemistigma albipuncta Piedspot Female Close up Nwanedi LP RSA Dec 2018r 5Yellow streak runs along neck and length of thorax between wing bases,  Hemistigma albipuncta Piedspot Female Close up Nwanedi LP RSA Dec 2018This streak is sharply outlined in dark brown on neck and first part of thora100 2261 Hemistigma albipuncta Pied spot Female Banga Neck Kosi Bay KZN RSA Mch 2017r 24
  • Frons creamy below upper darkish brown/black brown stripe below, Clypeus and labrum white to light grey Hemistigma albipuncta Piedspot Female Close up Nwanedi LP RSA Dec 2018
  • Wings light smokey with bright yellow amber between the the costa end radius veins becoming darker towards the outer margin of the wing.  Hemistigma albipuncta Piedspot Female Close up Nwanedi LP RSA Dec 2018 Brown wing tips,100 2265 Hemistigma albipuncta Pied spot Female Banga Neck Kosi Bay KZN RSA Mch 2017r 11   Hemistigma albipuncta Piedspot Female Close up Nwanedi LP RSA Dec 2018 Bi-coloured pterostigmas. 100 2265 Hemistigma albipuncta Pied spot Female Banga Neck Kosi Bay KZN RSA Mch 2017r 11 
  • Abdomen dark brown stripe on sides .100 2658 Hemistigma albipuncta Piedspot Female Close up Nwanedi LP RSA Dec 2018r 12 Black line on top of abdomen broadening towards the hind margin  Hemistigma albipuncta Piedspot Female Close up Nwanedi LP RSA Dec 2018
  • Claspers whitish with black tips and edge stripes. 100 2264 Hemistigma albipuncta Pied spot Female Banga Neck Kosi Bay KZN RSA Mch 2017r 20 
Compared with other species:
  • Similar to the Skimmer (Orthetrum) species due to the blue-grey pruinose thorax and abdomen.
  • Diagnostic on the African Piedspot is the bi-coloured pterostigmas 100 2265 Hemistigma albipuncta Pied spot Female Banga Neck Kosi Bay KZN RSA Mch 2017r 11 100 2540 Hemistigma albipuncta Piedspot Male Close up Kozibay KZN RSA Mch 2019r 18 and very distinctive colours of the eyes and face. 100 2535 Hemistigma albipuncta Piedspot Male Close up Kozibay KZN RSA Mch 2019r 9  100 2262 Hemistigma albipuncta Pied spot Female Banga Neck Kosi Bay KZN RSA Mch 2017r 15
  • H. albipunctum has a creamy stripe on the dorsal thorax carina. 100 2534 Hemistigma albipuncta Piedspot Male Close up Kozibay KZN RSA Mch 2019r 6 This is not present on P. deceptor.
  • Males 100 2538 Hemistigma albipuncta Piedspot Male Close up Kozibay KZN RSA Mch 2019r 13 are similar to Deceptive widow 100 1265 Palpopleura deceptor Deceptive Widow Male Close up Kgomo Kgomo Apr 2017r 13 (Palpopleura deceptor)  but have a long slender abdomen and do not have the spot at the nodus and dark streak between the costa and radius veins as distinctive in P deceptor.
  • Female Hemistigma albipunctum 100 1203 Hemistigma albipuncta Pied spot Female Banga Neck Mch 2017r 1  may be confused with the female Eastern Blacktail (Nesciothemis farinosa100 598 Eastern Blacktail Female Jan 2016 r 2 of 14. Both species have a cream dorsal stripe and dark wingtips as well as a broad black stripe on the side of the abdomen
Distribution and habitat:

Distribution Map June 2020 Map

African Piedspot, Hemistigma albipunctum, Bontkolletjie Locally common in the warm north and east of South Africa.
Prefers standing and often temporary waters, as well as rivers and possibly flowing channels in reed-choked marshes and swamps (sometimes with
minimal water), in open landscapes, open areas in forest or shaded by gallery forest. Usually with emergent vegetation and often coarse detritus and a soft (like muddy) bottom.
From 0 to 1900 m above sea level, but mostly below 1400.

Behaviour:
  • Perches on reed or grass stems, darting out, then returning to perch, often a different  perch.
Further reading 

Websites of interest:
Odonata Atlas of Africa VMU Number 667380
A Visual Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of South Africa
African Dragonflies & Damselflies Online
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species  Least Concern

 

 

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