Monday, 23 September 2013

Gynacantha subinterrupta

While in Ba Be National Park at the end of July I spotted a Gynacantha flying low patrols near the little bungalow at the Park Center where we were staying. It hung up in the branches of a tree and when I got ready to take pictures a car passed by and flushed it. Heavily frustrated I searched for it in the next few days, until on a rainy afternoon another appeared right in front of our door. I was able to catch it and take some photos, before releasing it again to continue its duskhawking business, mostly consisting of, I imagine, devouring little insects. It turned out to be a common species, already described by Rambur in 1842, Gynacantha subinterrupta. There are various papers in which the coloration is mentioned, and it may be due to the large geographical spread, but they do not all concur. However, the yellow face and the typical shape of the superior appendages are always mentioned. The description by Needham (1930) is pretty precise. That also has a proper drawing of the appendages and concerns specimen from China. It is actually quite a nice looking species!

Gynacantha subinterrupta, male

close-up of head, showing yellow face, greenish frons with thick black T, yellow occiput

Very constricted S3 and large auricles, with 6-7 teeth

And ventral view of appendages, with superiors basally narrow, widening in first third, constricted again and widening again in apical third.

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