Slender Bluet (Africallagma fractum)

View the above photo record (by Alan Manson) in OdonataMAP here.

Find the Slender Bluet in the FBIS database (Freshwater Biodiversity Information System) here.

Family Coenagrionidae

Africallagma fractum SLENDER BLUET

Identification

Small size

Length up to 32mm; Wingspan reaches 39mm.

Most like Africallagma glaucum (Swamp Bluet). The Slender Bluet is distinguishable from that species by its conspicuous, large and connected postocular spots, and by the unique black notch-shaped marking on the top of segment seven.

Click here for more details on identification.

Africallagma fractum – Male
Hilton, KwaZulu-Natal
Photo by Geoff Prosser

Habitat

Frequents the fringes of streams, pools and dams where there is a thick growth of tall grasses and forbs. Usually found in fairly well-wooded areas.

A mid-altitude species that is mostly found between 600 and 1200m a.s.l.

Behaviour

Perches near the top of grass stems over the water where it is conspicuous.

On the wing mainly from September to April, but may fly all year in places. See Phenology below.

Status and Conservation

Scarce and localised. Listed as of Least Concern in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Distribution

It has been found in Angola, southern Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and eastern South Africa.

Below is a map showing the distribution of records for Slender Bluet 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.

Phenology

Dragonfly Atlas: Megan Loftie-Eaton, Sally Hofmeyr, Ryan Tippett & Les Underhill
Dragonfly Atlas: Megan Loftie-Eaton, Sally Hofmeyr, Ryan Tippett & Les Underhill
Megan Loftie-Eaton is our communications, social media and citizen science coordinator. Prior to her work for the BDI, she coordinated OdonataMAP, the Atlas of African Odonata. Sally Hofmeyr has many years' experience in the academic world, writing her own material and editing the work of others. Her academic background is in the natural sciences: her PhD and first postdoc in ornithology and environmental change (Animal Demography Unit, University of Cape Town). Ryan Tippett is an enthusiastic contributor to Citizen Science and has added many important and interesting records of fauna and flora. He has been a member of the VMU since 2014 and has currently submitted over 11000 records. He is also on the expert identification panel for the Odonata Map project. Prof Les Underhill has been Director of the Animal Demography Unit (ADU) at the University of Cape Town since it started in 1991. Although citizen science in biology is Les’s passion, his academic background is in mathematical statistics.