Sunday, 20 April 2014

Megalestes micans - emerging left and right at Sapa

When birding around Sapa we encountered everyday large spreadwing damsels. Only once did I see a mature female, which eluded capture. And only once was I able to put my hands on a teneral male, as females were much more common. The large square ventral tooth at the base of the superior appendages, which were otherwise smoothly rounded without widening in the distal half, pointed straight to Megalestes micans. The HW length of 35mm also nicely fitted the species. In these teneral individuals the thorax has a broad yellow stripe along the dorsal carina that apparently disappears completely in the mature specimens. It is therefore not clear to what extent the yellow pattern on the prothorax remains as it is in the below photos. M. micans has a typical pattern to the prothorax with yellow anterior and posterior lobes, connected by a yellow line over the prothorax itself, which fits nicely with the present markings, but it is likely that at least to some extent these markings will be obscured later. The shape of the appendages however leaves no doubt about the male and likely the accompanying females are thus of the same species, even if M. haui has also been recorded in the area (Do Manh Cuong in litt.).

Megalestes micans, female, teneral, with yellow middorsal stripe and yellow prothorax
The same female, carefully captured

The teneral male, stupidly forgot to take picture of the whole insect, note yellow mid dorsal stripe and posterior lobe of prothorax

The superior appendages, smoothly rounded and if you look carefully, with square ventral tooth visible near the base.

Another teneral female

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