Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Three more Gomphids from Yen Bai

Gomphids - I love them! So, when I spent last weekend in Yen Bai, I was a happy man, seeing 6 new species. In fact, one I had seen before, but this is the first time I had an adult in my hands. It is a species of which Sebastien already told me that it was quite common. I have seen it freshly emerged at low altitude in Tam Dao and here it was again higher up in Yen Bai Province. It is a Leptogomphus that looks very closely like L. perforatus, but has inferior appendages smoothly rounded. The hamules are also quite differently shaped, especially the anterior one.

The other two species, well…The first I saw about 6 of. It is an easy species to recognize, or so I thought, and it appears in quite open areas on wet rocky and muddy places, where is sits on the ground, on rocks or on leaves. It was a Heliogomphus and I did identify it as H. scorpio, but subsequently I caught several H. scorpio in Tam Dao and clearly it is a different species. I will come back to this in another posting (this part of text edited May 18). And I saw one interesting gomphid with slender white superior appendages that I subsequently identified as Sinogomphus leptocercus. This is quite a shock, as to my knowledge it is only known from Xizang, Tibet, although close to the Yunnan border. And admittedly the thorax pattern is darker. On the other hand, within Sinogomphus, this species is strange because of the thin and long superior appendages and broad inferiors. Moreover, the penile organ is also a close match. If not this species, than it is something very closely related but as yet undescribed. Unless, of course, someone has a better suggestion.

Sinogomphus leptocercus, male
The penile organ. Compare the drawings in Chao (1990)
The weird appendages in dorsal view
In ventral view
And finally in lateral view
Leptogomphus sp., as far as we have been able to check, undescribed but common.

The appendages in dorsal view, note the smoothly rounded shape

The same in ventral view
The hamules in lateral view, compare with those of L. perforatus below
Hamules of Leptogomphus perforatus for comparison
And finally male Heliogomphus sp.
Perched on a leaf, an easily recognizable species (May 18 edited: not at all that easy, this is not scorpio after all)

The appendages in dorsal view, see also posting on H. scorpio and differences

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