Saturday 25 April 2009

Neurobasis longipes

Species Name: Neurobasis longipes
Family: Calopterygidae

Male on rock in midstream (taken without flash)
This  surely has to be the most beautiful damselfly in Borneo! Witnessing it in nature is one of the most breathtaking experiences for me. My photos hardly convey the true beauty of this creature that has simply to be seen in life.  I had previously only glimpsed it momentarily on a few ocassions in forested rivers and had never had a chance to photograph it until now. 

Close-up of male (taken with flash)
I saw this spectacular male in the shallow rocky Sungai Palum Tambun which is a tributary of the mighty Segama River in the Danum Valley Field Centre. It was tirelessly flitting from rock to rock in the late afternoon, occassionally I also saw his less colourful mate, but she was too shy to pause and pose for me! It had me chasing it from rock to rock trying to get a good picture and mercifully, just as I was about to become totally exhausted and before the sun disappeared, it stayed put for a while and let me approach it to get my photo!

The body of both sexes are bright metallic green in colour, the top of the male's hindwings are brilliantly iridescent  green and its forewings are clear with a yellow-brown tint while the both the female's wings are clear with a lighter yellow-brown tint.

Members of the family Calopterygidae (from the Greek words meaning beautiful wings) are slender with long thin legs and mainly coloured metallic green. N. longipes is found in Borneo as well as in Peninsular Malaysia where another similar and slightly bigger species N. chinensis is also found. 

Sunday 12 April 2009

Orchithemis pulcherrima

Species Name: Orchithemis pulcherrima
Family: Libellulidae
I was pleasantly surprised when I came across this small dragonfly near a pond in the oil palm plantation recently as I have never seen it in Sabah before. I first saw and photographed this species in the Lambir Hills National Park in Miri, Sarawak in 2006.
This species is rather interesting because of its many colour forms or morphs. At least four distinct colour forms are known - orange, red, blue and a dark almost black form with a white band on its abdomen. 
This male, like the one I saw in Miri is of the orange variety.

The geographical range of this libellulid is recorded as Vietnam, Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore, Borneo, Indonesia and the Philippines.