Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Rhodothemis rufa


Species name: Rhodothemis rufa

Family:   Libellulidae

My last post on this species was in December 2009 featuring a newly emerged female. Male R. rufa is not easy to distinguish from other medium-sized red species of libellulid like Orthetrum testaceum, Crocothemis servilia or Urothemis signata. The female however is  easier to recognise with her brownish colour and  a middorsal pale yellowish streak.

I have recently photographed both males and females in the field.



Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Pantala flavescens - Emergence


Species Name: Pantala flavescens
Family: Libellulidae
Without realizing it two long years had passed since my last post! My first post for the new year 2013 is only my second "emergence" post - of arguably, the most common dragonfly in the world.
In December 2012 I was lucky to find a few nymphs in a water tank and one night literally stumbled on an emergence in progress.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Trithemis aurora

Species name: Trithemis aurora
Family: Libellulidae

A whole year has passed since I last posted in this blog! I just can't believe how time passes so fast! Well, at least I still have one post in 2010. Hopefully more...

Male in all its splendour

The Crimson Dropwing is a common dragonfly of open ponds and drains. The male is brightly coloured - its whole body as well as the viens on its wings are bright pinkish crimson. Quite a sexy guy, who likes to show off his colours basking in the sun while assuming the obelisk posture! The female however is comparatively dull - she's light brownish.
Male in obelisk posture

Female doing handstand! What he can do so can she!

This is a widespread species with a geographic range that cover the whole of Asia.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Rhodothemis rufa

Species Name: Rhodothemis rufa
Family: Libellulidae

For the first time I was able to rear a dragonfly larva up to emergence. However unfortunately although I guessed the day of emergence, I was too late to catch the start of the emergence process.On the morning of the larva's change to adulthood I woke up at 3:15 a.m. but found that it had already fully emerged! I was only able to take photos of it hanging fully extended from the exuvia.

This, after 2 months of guessing and wondering about its species, turned out to be Rhodothemis rufa a common species in Asia - with a range from Bangladesh through India, Indochina, China, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. My thanks to Dr Rory Dow and Dr Sadayuki Ugai for the sp. identification.

The male however is rather difficult to distinguish from other common and very similar red libellulids. However the female (shown here) is recognized by its brownish colour and the mid-dorsal light yellow streak which run from the top of the antefrons through the thorax down to segment 5 of the abdomen. Unfortunately I don't have a photo of a male.
The larva when I first collected it was a rather long-legged spiderlike creature!
Mature larva (underside)

Mature larva with mosquito larvae which I provided it. It also readily ate small tadpoles.

The newly emerged female with its characteristic mid-dorsal line.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Indaeschna grubaueri

Species Name: Indaeschna grubaueri
Family: Aeshnidae
Male resting beside pond
Members of the family Aeshnidae are the gaints of the Odonata and this is one of the largest of the gaints. This is the second time that I've seen and photographed this species at the very same pond at the edge of a forest reserve near Lahad Datu town. The first time was in 2006 when I saw a male resting on vegetation at the side of the pond, and today I was fortunate enough to see this huge female ovipositing at this pond. Interestingly she was laying her eggs in the moist soil just above the water. This species is also known to lay its eggs in water-filled tree holes and on buttress cavities of large trees.
Female on the wing
Females of I. grubaueri have hindwings that measure up to 68mm while males are thinner and smaller with 59-62mm long hindwings. Both sexes are similarly coloured with bright lime-green markings on the thorax and wide bands on the abdomen.

Female ovipositing on wet soil above water line

This species is said to be widespread in lowland forest in Sundaland and the Philippines.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Libellago hyalina

Species Name: Libellago hyalina
Family: Chlorocyphidae
This is the other Libellago sp. which I was able to photograph with my Nokia mobile phone in the Binusan Forest Reserve in Nunukan, Kalimantan Timur, Indonesia during my short visit there last week. Dr Rory Dow said my photos "almost certainly" showed Libellago hyalina.
L. hyalina has a wider range than the sp. in my previous post, being found from parts of China, Thailand, down to Peninsular Malaysia, Borneo and other parts of Indonesia.

My photos show the mature male which has a dark blue/purple abdomen (apparent only when seen in bright sunlight). Immature males have red markings on the abdomen, while the females like those of other spp. in this genus are rather darb in colour.

Libellago phaethon

Species Name: Libellago phaethon
Family: Chlorocyphidae
Last week I took the short ferry ride from Tawau, Sabah across the border to Nunukan in East Kalimantan, Indonesia. There, friends took me to a picnic area in a forest reserve near town but unfortunately I had not brought along my DSLR camera, because I found some very interesting damselfly species which were new to me! Two of them were Libellago spp. of which, after much patience, I was able to take some fairly sharp photos with my Nokia N85 mobile phone camera!

L. phaethon is said to be known only from northeast Borneo (just south of Tawau, Nunukan Island would be in this area) being more well known from small streams in Danum in Sabah.
The male is uniquely coloured blue (on thorax and basal half of abdomen) and red markings on the rest of the abdomen. The female (which I did not see) like those of the other species in the genus is darb in colour and difficult to identify unless when associated with the males.

I observed typical Libellago male agression behaviour among the males - two males would hover above a piece of territory facing each other until one of them retreats. I also saw this species confront males of L. hyalina  which was also quite common here in this manner.