Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Protosticta enigma - a new species? Help!*

*This posting was adjusted on April 7, 2016, when this species for published in Zootaxa (Phan & Kompier, 2016) as Protosticta spinosa. Unlike many other species in Vietnam, luckily this species is very distinctive and easily recognizable.

May 10 I was checking the forest along a stream just west of Nam Bung in Yen Bai Province. I spotted a damselfly moderately high up in the shrub along a rocky outcrop. I could just about reach it. Fragile as always and sort of the same, it seemed different from Protosticta satoi, with a colorful prothorax. Under the microscope the inferior appendages are very weird and very interesting, with a large spine directed inward at the halfway point. It is very different from P. satoi. Jan van Tol described several new species for Vietnam, but this is not one of them. Does anybody have suggestions?

Protosticta spinosa

Close-up of prothorax

Thoracic pattern

Now take a look at this, appendages in dorsal view

Lateral view

And here it is, the ventral view. Now, that is weird and distinctive, I would like to suggest. If it is known, somebody is bound to recognize this.

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