Friday, 4 October 2013

Cryptophaea vietnamensis

For those of you that have been wondering what that angelic damsel is in the header of my blog, I chose it because of its name, Cryptophaea vietnamensis. I have not seen Chlorogomphus vietnamensis yet, so this is the one species that carries the Viet Nam name that I have been able to take pictures of. And angelic, because the pattern on the dorsum of the thorax looks a bit like two angel's wings. I have seen it regularly at Ba Vi, between May and September, although that does not mean it is restricted to that period. And I have seen it once at Tay Thien, Tam Dao National Park. That specimen was in fact very much darker than anything I had seen before at Ba Vi, causing me to raise both my eyebrows in surprise. For the time being, let's consider it individual variation. The females are strikingly orange, but when immature they are purple. The males sit along streams, and so do the females, often sitting prolonged at the same perch over the water. It can quite easily be caught by hand and plays dead when caught.

Cryptophaea vietnamensis, male

A close-up of head and thorax

The strange dark specimen with restricted thoracic pattern of Tay Thien

Cryptophaea vietnamensis, immature female

And the adult female

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