Sunday 7 December 2008

Camacinia gigantea


Species Name: Camacinia gigantea

Family: Libellulidae

At first glance you would think that this is a huge Neurothemis because of the dark red colours on the body and wings of the male. Females are much paler in colour with fainter and less extensive markings on the wings. In size it is the largest of the Libellulid family.

Male flying across pond

This species is said to be quite widespread in the Indo-Australian tropics but are quite rarely encountered. However I’m quite lucky to have these insects breeding in a pond (which I’ve mentally named the Camacinia Pond ;)) in the plantation where I work. There are Camacinia at this pond at almost any time! Sometimes there will be several males patrolling it and perching on the side. Sometimes a female would be present and the males would be busy pursuing her and fighting with each other!

Female at rest

Found in lowland at ponds and lakes in open areas and near coast along mangroves.

Pantala flavescens


Species Name: Pantala flavescens
Family: Libellulidae

Pantala flavescens is certainly the world’s most widely distributed dragonfly – found worldwide in the tropics as well as in temperate zones of North America and Europe. It’s the only odonate that Borneo shares with the United Kingdom where it is found as a rare vagrant. For this reason, and because it had even been known to land on ships far out at sea, its common name is the Globe Skimmer or Wandering Glider.

The colour of the thorax and abdomen of both sexes is orangish to light brown with clear wings, the small dark area on the tip of the hindwing is distinctive. They can be seen flying almost anywhere in open country, sometimes in great numbers, they rarely perch. They breed in standing or slow moving water, so rice paddies in the tropics are particularly suitable habitats.

Male Globe Skimmer on my finger

As these insects are almost perpetually on the wing, I have not been able to take a good photo of them in nature. I was however lucky to find one on the ground – which I picked up and photographed perched on my finger.