Saturday, 19 April 2014

Mesopodagrion tibetanum australe (Yu & Bu, 2009)

Between 14 and 16 April I was on a birding trip in the Sapa area (as the readers will be now know). Everyday we bumped into varying numbers of a robust damselfly in a variety of habitats, but apparently all associated with shallow, muddy and swampy places. It was certainly common. Today I found the revision of the Mesopodagrion genus by Yu & Bu and that helped clinch the ID. It is Mesopodagrion tibetanum australe, a (sub)species widely distributed in Yunnan, so it comes as no surprise that it also occurs on the Vietnamese side of the border. The photos are from specimens near Love Waterfall, but we also saw them on the flanks of Phan Xi Pang to at least 2000m asl.

Mesopodagrion tibetanum australe, male

Tandem of M. t. australe. The female has very extensive yellow on S9-10

Freshly emerged male, showing the light back of the head indicative of the (sub)species (amongst others)

Female at top, male at bottom. The male is 43mm long.

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