Wednesday, 20 November 2013

At last, Copera vittata! Overlooked?

Yellow-legged Copera are everywhere in Vietnam. We call them geelvoetje, little yellow foot in Dutch. It is always Copera marginipes. The other common Copera is C. ciliata, with white legs and we call that one therefore witvoetje, little white foot. And of course there ought to be another Copera around, with orangy legs, but I never saw it. I did notice that the amount of white on the abdominal tip is rather variable in C. marginipes, but studied enough closely to conclude that it was always this species. In Huu Lien however I once more closely looked at all geelvoetjes and noticed that the appendages looked different on some, even if the legs were yellowish, not orangy. And I also remembered that the dorsum of the thorax was supposed to be blodgy, not sharply demarcated from the humerals. Well, study up close revealed that this was nevertheless C. vittata. Clearly the geographical differences, or individual differences, are great. The appendages however leave no room for doubt, they are very differently shaped from C. marginipes, with longer superiors and upwards slanting and tapering inferiors. It is definitely possible that I had overlooked it in the previous months. From now on I will pay better attention and surely will find out whether or not it is in fact commoner.

Copera vittata, male, note the bushy looking appendages

Another male, with very yellow legs

Yet another male, note the appendages. Yellow legs and dark, clearly demarcated dorsum of thorax

Another male, showing tapering and upward slanting inferior appendages

For comparison, Copera marginipes, note straight and thick inferior and short superior appendages, and interestingly, longer wings, reaching unto S6.

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