Saturday, 28 September 2013

Ischnura carpentieri and Ischnura aurora

September is drawing to a close, but the weather was warm and sunny, so September 28 I decided to drive to Xuan Son National Park. I had no idea what it would be like, they have a website, but it did not seem to be maintained. Well, that was not the only thing that had not been maintained for a while. The gate was open and not a sole in sight (later there was) and near the office building, nobody and the buildings seemingly only partially in use. I drove on to the school building and other buildings (a small hospital and I guess lodging, the hospital not in use and the lodging used by Water Buffalo. On the other hand, a massive concrete road through the reserve and after walking the trail near the school over the hill, the next valley and hamlets were also being connected by a massive road that had been freshly cut through the forest. All not boding to well. I did not find bigger streams in the reserve while I was there, but I checked the rice fields and their borders. Many Crocothemis servilia, Diplacodes trivialis, Orthetrum sabina and O. pruinosum, but also Acisoma Panorpoides, and several damsels. My attention was caught by two different damsels with orange abdomen and blue tip, both seemingly forktails (Ischnura), one larger and one smaller. The larger one (of which I saw only two) was a member of the Ischnura rufostigma group. There is a lot of confusion about the four members of the group and I do not have the Asahina 1991 paper. That may be lucky, as apparently that only increased the confusion. But be that as it may, the dorsum of S8 is all blue and therefore I will categorize it for the time being as I. carpentieri. The other, smaller, species was more common and I saw it in several locations. This is Ischnura aurora, a pretty thing indeed.

Ischnura carpentieri, male (Or I. rufostigma, for the lumpers)

Ischnura aurora, male

A different male

Ischnura aurora, female

And another female

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