Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 September, 2022 12:10:05 AM

Damselflies of Borneo  >  Family Coenagrionidae 細蟌科  >  Genus Pseudagrion  >

Pseudagrion microcephalum 瘦面細蟌
Family: Coenagrionidae
Pseudagrion microcephalum

Found in Asia: Bangladesh, China, Guangxi, Hong Kong, Hainan, Indonesia, India, Japan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Malaysia, Philippines, Peninsular Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, Viet Nam

References :
Orr, A. G., 2005. Dragonflies of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. Natural History Publications (Borneo), Kota Kinabalu. Page 38

Pseudagrion microcephalum 瘦面細蟌

Both male and female are same size
♂ Male
body length = 34mm
hind wing length = 18mm

body length = 34mm
hind wing length = 18mm

Pseudagrion microcephalum are seen near flowing water. Males are sky blue in colour with black patches on the dorsal surface of the abdomen and the tip. Males are more in number than females .They start mating very early in the morning and complete before the bright light comes. Females are with light blue colour, not bright as males.

Blue head, Blue face and eyes are Blue too.
Blue head, Blue face and eyes are Blue too.
A few species of damselflies in Sabah are blue and look similar. One can easily  mistaken Pseudagrion microcephalum as Ischnura senegalensis.
We can tell it is a Pseudagrion microcephalum by its Blue eyes and bright Blue face.

A male Pseudagrion microcephalum.
A male Pseudagrion microcephalum

The male damselfly is brightly blue in color with black pattern on abdomen and blue thorax with black marks. Its long and slender abdomen is black in color with blue rings. There is the blue tip at the end of abdomen. 
The female are look the same except pale blue to grayish-green in color. When Blue Sprite Damselflies are at rest, they held their wings closely folded up vertically over their thorax. 
Then the female will return to the water and lay her eggs, usually with the male still in tandem position. 
Damselflies lay their eggs in the plants under the surface of water. Female damselflies have their blade-like ovipositor for making an opening in the plant for her eggs.
Some other damselflies female lays eggs alone with no male around.

A female Pseudagrion microcephalum
A female Pseudagrion microcephalum

Pseudagrion microcephalum Ovipositing
Pseudagrion microcephalum Ovipositing

Matured Pseudagrion microcephalum become active in sunny afternoon, spending long time in tandem.
The female often oviposits underwater, while still in tandem with a male. Most cases the male may have the lower part of his abdomen submerged as well. Sometimes the male may have to fully submerged into water too if the female go deeper down to the plants under the water.
Photos above is a pair totally submerged.
The female places eggs in the tissue of underwater plants, as do most damselflies.
SG IMAM 2016-03-02 15:39

Ovipositor of a female damselfly Pseudagrion microcephalum
Ovipositor of a female damselfly Pseudagrion microcephalum
hind wing length = 18mm

2016-10-19 SRI INDAH
1- A paired Valves with stylus
2- A cutting Basal blade
A pair of Cerci (Anal appendage)
Cerci (appendage)

Pseudagrion microcephalum is a very common in ponds, lakes and drains. The male bright blue with black bands.
It can be confused with many other common coenagrionids, including Archibasis species and Argiocnemis rubescens, all of which fall into the same size range and have a similar pattern of blue on black.

It is difficult to separate from other blue Pseudagrion species, but Pseudagrion microcephalum is by far the commonest and most widespread member of its genus and the only one known from disturbed habitats.

Male Pseudagrion microcephalum skimm just few inches above water surface (above photo).

The female is light brown with obscure greenish markings. Mating start at midday throughout the afternoon.
After insemination the pair may remain in tandem for well over an hour, skimming the water surface and resting frequently on lily pads. Females often submerge completely to lay their eggs in the stems of water plants.

Pseudagrion microcephalum is widespread and was featured by National Geographic few years ago.

Reproduction of Pseudagrion microcephalum
Reproduction of Pseudagrion microcephalum

Diagram above : Male and female Blue Sprite Damselflies in tandem position

The male using his genital claspers located at the tip of his abdomen to grab hold of her by the pro-thorex. The two will form a circle while the female aligns her genitilia with the secondary genitilia of the male located at section two (S2) of abdomen. The male then deposit his sperm into the female.
After copulation, the male will continue to hold onto the female's neck to prevent other males from mating with her. The male will fly around with the female while she lays her eggs, often guiding her to the most ideal spot for the eggs. Once a location has been selected, the female will insert her ovipositor, a knife-like egg-laying organ, into stems of growing plants.
Females always lay copious amounts of eggs in order to ensure that at least some will hatch and fully mature into adult dragonflies.

Identify a female Pseudagrion microcephalum
Identify a female Pseudagrion microcephalum

An immature and matured female Pseudagrion microcephalum (Rambur, 1842) are so different in color that it often mistaken as another species.
An matured female's greenish blue color is similar to few other species and again often wrongly identified as the same species.
One can tell it is a female Pseudagrion microcephalum (Rambur, 1842) by the 3 unique black spots on each side of the thorax.

Blue Sprite - The Blue damselfly
Blue Sprite - The Blue damselfly

Pseudagrion microcephalum Blue Sprite Damselflies are one of the most common damselflies found in Sabah. They can easily be found near running water or still water. They usually rest on the plants in the middle of ponds or at the water edges.
In warm sunny days, you can see them flying over the water completing for a good perching position with other damselflies.
This slender blue damselfly flies gracefully above pond and stream. The most abundant of all damselfly species, this beautiful blue damselfly can easily be spotted in grass. The males are beautifully blue, while the females are dull light green.

Out of the global 10 families of damselflies, the following 6 families  are found in Borneo Island :

01- Family Calopterygidae 色蟌科
02- Family Chlorocyphidae 鼻蟌科
03- Family Coenagrionidae 細蟌科
04- Family Euphaeidae 溪蟌科
05- Family Lestidae 絲蟌科
06- Family Protoneuridae 原蟌科


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