Sunday, 13 October 2013

Xuan Son outing, other records

The visit to Xuan Son was intended to search for some late season stream species. As we approached the National Park from the east and not from the north, we ended up at the wrong entrance. Wrong, because we could not find some essential streams in primary forest. Nevertheless we had quite a good time, but convinced we were in the wrong place we decided to try to approach from a different direction. Quite a challenge without a detailed map of the area and none of the villages mentioned. But we were successful in that we made it late in the afternoon to Lap Village. That was a fantastic place. The trial and error driving around route 32 brought us the already mentioned Lamelligomphus sp. and a Lesser Emperor, Anax parthenope junius. This is a species recorded as a vagrant from Vietnam, but it is likely it is more common. We saw a male over a pond by the road side, but it did not allow pictures. However, its small size, brownish abdomen with extensive light markings pointed away from A. guttatus and to this species. I guess we need a little more definite proof next time. In Lap Village one of the last dragonflies of the day was a smashing Matrona taoi, described from Xuan Son only two years ago. And because we were so late we sat a bit on a bridge at dusk before returning to Hanoi (a three and a half hour drive after all), when all of a sudden in the last light of the day the already mentioned Boyeria karubei started swarming. Not at all a bad October day, with 35 Odonate species. Besides the aforementioned goodies Onychothemis testacea also still put in an appearance. Below some of the stream damsels for which this is such a good area.

Matrona basilaris, male. We only saw one, but it is still early in the season

There were already quite a few Vestalis gracilis about, here a male

And here a teneral male. We saw several freshly emerged.

Copula of Vestalis gracilis

One of the targets: Matrona taoi, male, in all its splendor

Pretty Neurobasis chinensis, here the male, was common

Neurobasis chinensis, female

Euphaea decorata, female

Euphaea masoni, couple side by side

Heliocypha perforata, male. One of at least 5 species occurring in the area, of which we saw also R. biforata and Aristocypha fenestrella.

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