Sunday, 30 December 2007

Neurothemis terminata

Species Name: Neurothemis terminata
Family: Libellulidae

This is one of the common red-winged dragonflies that one sees often in drains, small ditches and ponds. There are several species of Neurothemis whose males typically have dark red pigmented wings with some clear (hyaline) areas, usually at the tips. The females however usually have clear wings with some darker markings. The common species are quite similar in appearance and are difficult to identify in the field.

N. terminata is common on Borneo, most of Indonesia, the Philippines and less so in Peninsular Malaysia.

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Libellago semiopaca

Species Name: Libellago semiopaca
Family: Chlorocyphidae

A male L. semiopaca

Two males in confrontation

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.

A female

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.

Rhinagrion elopurae

Species Name: Rhinagrion elopurae
Family: Megapodagrionidae

Members of the genus Rhinagrion are curious looking and brightly coloured damselflies of which 2 are endemic to Borneo (that means, they are found nowhere else). They live in shaded forest streams and are unusual in that unlike most damselflies, they rest with their wings open like a dragonfly. They also have very small wings on a body that’s thicker than most damselflies.

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”.