Monday, 12 May 2014

Petaliaeschna flavipes - a study in yellow

May 10 I eventually decided to stay at Nha Hang Khan Pha in Yen Bai. By the side of this inn a track goes into the woods along a stream. A perfect dragonfly place. It was a cloudy afternoon and to my surprise I found several aeschnids hunting low over the path or patrolling. Later on, towards dusk, there were many, flying about like Gynacantha. I was able to catch a female that had come out of the solitude of the bushes to catch a white moth, hence the white stuff on her face, and a male patrolling. The female had a fantastic deep ovipositor and the male and female both were strangely yellow, with bright yellow legs. Based on wing venation it should be something like Petaliaeschna or Periaeschna. In fact, it was Petaliaeschna flavipes, described from Northern Vietnam by Karube in 1999. It can be identified based on the shape of the appendages from several closely allied species.

Petaliaeschna flavipes, male

Petaliaeschna flavipes, female


Female (left) and male (right) in dorsal view

Appendages of male in dorsal view

In lateral view
And in ventral view

The weird shaped ovipositor of the female. No, this is not due to compression!


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