Saturday, 14 September 2013

Jewelry

Some 10 Chlorocyphidae have been recorded in Vietnam. To date I have seen 4. A trip to Ba Be National Park in late July produced all these. Aristocypha fenestrella fenestrella is also found along rapid forest streams in Tam Dao and Ba Vi, so closer to Ha Noi. Rhinocypha biforata apparently is a common species, but to date I have only seen it along a small roadside stream on the way to Ba Be. Heliocypha perforata was common on streams near Ba Be, with an apparent preference for somewhat less rapid streams than A. fenestrella, often occurring in close proximity, but A. fenestrella in steeper and more forested sections. Libellago lineata occurred in very different habitat, slow streaming more murky rivers and lakes, like Ba Be lake itself, where males could be observed on floating bits of rotting wood, the same stuff that females oviposit in. To date (14 September) at least A. fenestrella is still common in the right habitat around Ba Vi.

Rhinocypha biforata, male

Libellago lineata, male

Aristocypha fenestrella, immature male
Aristocypha fenestrella, male

Heliocypha perforata, male

Identifying the females is challenging. Content for a later blog entry. And obviously I cannot wait to see  the other members of the Vietnamese Jewels. Seeing these brilliant insects battle it out over the rapids to impress the females, wings flashing, legs outstretched (in for instance A. fenestrella the white front femurs are a striking feature in display) is a treat!

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