Friday, 18 July 2014

Argiocnemis rubescens - supposed to be common

Argiocnemis rubescens is a species rumored to be common. It ranges widely from Australia to India to southern China, but in Vietnam I had been looking for it in vain. I was convinced that in many cases it may well have been confused with Mortonagrion aborense. That species was first found in Hanoi by Sebastien Delonglee, but subsequently I encountered it in many places, ranging from Cuc Phuong to Huu Lien. Several of its phases are similar to M. aborense and the shape of the appendages is also reminiscent of Mortonagrion. But on June 20th I ran into it in northern Bac Kan Province, about 30 km south of Bang Lung, where it shared a muddy puddle with Ceriagrion malaisei, Lestes praemorsus and Orolestes selysi. I did think it was some other Mortonagrion for a while until it dawned on me.
Argiocnemis rubescens, very brown and grayish pruinose male. Note the long appendages.
Another male, less pruinose and very similar to Mortonagrion aborense, but for the pattern of S8-9.

The female in hand, surprisingly similar to the male, but of course variable, like the male.
Close-up of appendages of male A. rubescens

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