Friday, 18 April 2014

En route to Sapa, Xuan Son

Between April 12 and April 18 we travelled to Xuan Son, on to Sapa, back along route 32 to Ba Vi and finally home to Hanoi. As I was showing birding pal Hein around, it was a birding trip, but I did manage to keep an eye open for dragonflies. Luckily the weather was cloudy and misty a lot of the time, so I could reasonably well concentrate on the birds (great birds!), but nevertheless almost every day unexpected spring findings occurred. Over the next days there is a lot to research, I am afraid. I know that Vietnam is not very well researched, but this is ridiculous! And I need help, so if you have suggestions to the species in the photos, tell me! Otherwise, more will become clear, hopefully, in the next days.

Let's start in Xuan Son (April 12 and 13)
Over the two cloudy days we encountered 27 species. Big surprise was Archineura hetaerinoides, with at least 2 females and 4 males present. Mnais mneme was very common on little streams, with dozens of males and females around. On the same heavily vegetated small streams under forest cover (but also some mixed with abundant Euphaea masoni on the bigger streams) Euphaea guerini, another species I had not seen before. Protosticta grandis was another addition to the Xuan Son list. I encountered about 6. Both Coeliccia poungyi and C. sasamotoi were already around, the former with one individual, but the latter common. Best species, maybe, was a damsel not uncommon along the forest track close to the first stone bridge. I have as yet no idea what it was, but it was beautiful. I saw only males, 2 on the 12th and 4 on the 13th, perched on top of leaves close to the forest floor or up in bushes. And there was a common Gomphid of which I saw many males and a few females, a species of Nihonogomphus I identified as N. schorri, known only from Huu Lien. Last but not least, on both days I saw Philoganga vetusta, a male and a female.

Let's start with the unknown. Any ideas?

Archineura hetaerinoides, male

Ochre Titan revisited, Philoganga vetusta, female

Protosticta grandis, immature male

Nihonogomphus schorri, great range extension
And Coeliccia poungyi, a crisp male

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