Species Name: Neurothemis terminata
N. terminata is common on Borneo, most of Indonesia, the Philippines and less so in Peninsular Malaysia.
This is a very interesting damselfly found in bigger and more open forest streams and rivers where they can be seen flying about near the water surface, perched on rocks or fallen logs. Aggressive males confront each other while hovering over the contested territory. Successful males guard their mates by helicoptering to and fro above the females while they lay their eggs in the water.
I can spend hours watching these brightly coloured males and their drabber mates going through their delightful antics. The photos are taken in Silam, Lahad Datu.
Members of the genus Rhinagrion are curious looking and brightly coloured damselflies of which 2 are endemic to
The species featured on this post is Rhinagrion elopurae which I’ve photographed on vegetation on the side of forested streams in Tabin Wildlife Reserve and at the Madai Waterfall in Lahad Datu. It has a dark coloured body with lime-green markings that form a triangular shape on the top of its thorax and a dark red abdomen tipped with a bright blue flash.
I have not seen a female yet but it is said that she’s similarly coloured as the male but lacks the blue flash at the end of her “tail”.
This is one of the species of blue-coloured damselflies that are very common in drains, lily ponds and large open swamps or lakes. They are about twice a large as Agriocnemis femina and are often seen mating and ovipositing in the afternoon. The male remained paired with the female while she lays her eggs onto water weeds.
The colour of the male is blue with black stripes on its thorax and the abdomen is mainly black with a blue tip. Females are olive green, pale blue and black.
Species Name: Agriocnemis femina
Look in the grass beside drains and ponds in open areas near your house or in the paddy fields and you will almost surely find this species of damselfly. You have to look closely as they are really small and because their colour changes with age and the sexes are different in colour, they are a bit confusing and difficult to identify properly. Furthermore many small damselflies look very similar so it’s really hard for us non-experts to confirm the species.
Young males are green and black in colour with the tip of the abdomen (“tail”) orange, but as they grow older they become darker and the thorax becomes covered with a white growth called pruinescence and the orange at tip of its abdomen fades. So with naked eye they look little white bodied insects with dark “tails”.
Immature females on the other hand are bright red which turn olive greenish with dark brown markings.
I used to think they were four different species!