The photo above (by Georg Jacobs) can be viewed in OdonataMAP here.
Hemistigma albipunctum, commonly known as the African Piedspot is a dragonfly in the family Libellulidae.
Length up to 38mm; Wingspan reaches 63mm.
Males are readily identifiable, but could be mistaken for a male Skimmer (Orthetrum spp.), or other small, pale blue dragonflys like the Inspector (Chalcostephia flavifrons).
The male African Piedspot can be told by the combination of bi-coloured pterostigmas, the smoky streaks in the forewings, the slender abdomen and black and white face.
Females can be identified by the bi-coloured pterostigmas, the black-tipped wings and the cream-coloured stripe that runs from behind the eyes to the start of the abdomen.
Frequents the still or slow-moving reaches of marshes, floodplains, pans, dams and rivers. Favours sites with an abundant growth of sedge, grasses and reeds in shallow water. Occurs mostly in the warmer coastal and savanna regions.
Perches on plant stems over the water. Hunts from a perch and usually re-settles at a different spot. Often fairly confiding when approached.
Status and Conservation
Hemistigma albipunctum is locally common in South Africa. It is listed as of Least Concern in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Readily utilises suitable man-made habitats.
Widespread across Sub-Saharan Africa, occuring in West, Central, East and Southern Africa. In South Africa it is largely confined to the NE, where it is found in the Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal provinces. It is most common in coastal KwaZulu-Natal.
Below is a map showing the distribution of records for African Piedspot in the OdonataMAP database as at February 2020.
The next map below is an imputed map, produced by an interpolation algorithm, which attempts to generate a full distribution map from the partial information in the map above. This map will be improved by the submission of records to the OdonataMAP section of the Virtual Museum.
Ultimately, we will produce a series of maps for all the odonata species in the region. The current algorithm is a new algorithm. The objective is mainly to produce “smoothed” maps that could go into a field guide for odonata. This basic version of the algorithm (as mapped above) does not make use of “explanatory variables” (e.g. altitude, terrain roughness, presence of freshwater — we will be producing maps that take these variables into account soon). Currently, it only makes use of the OdonataMAP records for the species being mapped, as well as all the other records of all other species. The basic maps are “optimistic” and will generally show ranges to be larger than what they probably are.
These maps use the data in the OdonataMAP section of the Virtual Museum, and also the database assembled by the previous JRS funded project, which was led by Professor Michael Samways and Dr KD Dijkstra.