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.


Randy Emmitt said...

Enjoyed this post! Usually when I have found emerging dragonflies it has been either late at night or early in the morning. I have staged the Common green Darner in the house about 11pm to get photos.

Amila Salgado said...

It is also found in Sri Lanka, but I am not upset you didn't mention it! It occurs in my garden, but I have not seen an emergence of it yet. Nor have I seen the nymph, so it is good to see how it looks.

LarryS said...

Superb shots!! I keep hoping to capture a dragonfly on camera!

Kurt (OrionMystery) said...

Great work there!

Antony Ratcliffe said...

Hi there,
I just came across your blog through "Singapore Odonata" and very glad I did. You have some great information here and it was really nice to see the dragonfly and mosquito larvae, something I've not managed to see yet.

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