Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Protosticta at Ba Vi

Sorting through my photos of the first days of our stay in Vietnam, in fact of the first trip to Ba Vi, I came across two Protosticta species. The first seems to be a common species, Protosticta satoi. This is an interesting little forest damsel that keeps low to the ground and in dark and wet places, where they hang of the tips of leaves. It is interesting also because it occurs in two distinct color phases, described by Jan van Tol. Typical light specimens have a light prothorax, bordered by a dark line both anteriorly and posteriorly. Such are the specimens from Ba Vi. But at Ba Be National Park I noticed stunning differences in size and also the coloration of the prothorax was quite variable, with some mostly dark, including the pronotum, and in others with the centers of the lobes of the pronotum dark, but the remainder light. However, I could not find distinct differences in the appendages. additional work may yet point out whether the basis of this variability is intraspecific, or in fact that several species are involved.

The second species is much larger and more straightforward. This is Protosticta grandis. This species I have only seen at Ba Vi and only in July, but Sebastien Delonglee has seen at at several other sites as well.
Protosticta satoi, male, showing off typical pronotum

And Protosticta satoi, female

Protosticta grandis, male, with its typical white appendages

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