Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Tam Dao! Ochre Titan!*

*Adjusted after true identity of C. mortoni was established as C. haksik

Today, April 9, I went to Tam Dao with my birding pal Hein. The birding was okay, but it was rather misty, so it could have been better. Halfway the afternoon it became better and we even had a little weak sun, so we went to the Belvedere Resort surroundings and ran into several very cool damselfly species along the trail. 3 of these I had not seen before. And two of these belonged to genera I had not seen before in Vietnam and one even to a family that was new to me! The adrenalin!

The prize of the day goes to the fresh male of the magnificently weird Philoganga vetusta, as large as it is weird really. A frightening damselfly, measuring 7.5 solid heavy-bodied centimeters. The other new species were Rhipidolestes owadai, of which I saw both male and female, and Coeliccia mingxiensis, of which I saw a single male. Coeliccia scutellum created some confusion, as the fresh males looked rather different from what I am used to. Finally, the fifth species was a fresh female Calicnemia mortoni.

This is exactly as Hein (thank you!) spotted it perched, immature male Philoganga vetusta

In hand. The colors are starting to show, but for the real thing, visit Sebastien's page.

Head in close-up.

And the very simple appendages in ventral view.
Coeliccia mingxiensis, a Tam Dao specialty. Immature male.

Posed after release, photo taken hurriedly.
Male Rhipidolestes owadai. Note the spine on S9. A wonderful species.

The female is rather similar to the male, but less dark on the wingtips

Immature male Coeliccia scutellum. Much yellower on flanks, prothorax and abdomen.

C. scutellum close-up. See also dorsal pattern of head, almost absent in mature male

Female C. scutellum, likewise immature and with more extensive yellow on S9-10.
And finally, immature female Calicnemia haksik

1 comment:

  1. Strange spine on S9 for Rhipidolestes owada. Maybe something useful during mating?