Swamp Bluet (Africallagma glaucum)

View the above photo record (by Neels Jackson) in OdonataMAP here.

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

Family Coenagrionidae

Africallagma glaucumSWAMP BLUET


Very Small

Length up to 31mm; Wingspan attains 40mm.

Most resembles Africallagma fractum (Slender Bluet), but is smaller and less elongate. Africallagma fractum also differs in having large, round postocular spots and a unique keyhole shaped marking at the top of the abdomen on segment 7.

Click here for more details on identification.

Africallagma glaucum – Male
Near Ixopo, KwaZulu-Natal
Photo by Ryan Tippett


Inhabits marshes, seeps and the fringes of ponds, lakes, dams and slow moving rivers or streams. Favours still water environments with fringing and emergent grass, sedge or reeds.

Habitat – Bainskloof, Western Cape
Photo by Sharon Stanton


Fairly conspicuous despite its small size. Perches on plant stems close to the water and is often gregarious.

Most active from September to May, but flies year round in some places. See Phenology below.

Status and Conservation

Very common. The most frequently recorded Bluet in the region. Listed as of Least Concern in the IUCN Red List of Species. Able to utilise man-made waterholes and animal watering points which has allowed it spread into arid areas.


Occurs widely in Southern, central and East Africa.

Found virtually throughout South Africa, including arid areas.

Below is a map showing the distribution of records for Swamp 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.


Dragonfly Atlas: Megan Loftie-Eaton, Ryan Tippett, Rene Navarro & Les Underhill
Dragonfly Atlas: Megan Loftie-Eaton, Ryan Tippett, Rene Navarro & Les Underhill
Megan Loftie-Eaton is our communications, social media and citizen science projects coordinator. Prior to her work for the BDI, she coordinated OdonataMAP, the Atlas of African Odonata. 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 OdonataMAP project. Rene Navarro is the genius behind the Virtual Museum. 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.