Last year I only saw M. pinratani vietnamica and to my shame I have to admit that I came to recognize a reddish face as the telltale sign of that species. Beware! This is not correct. It is absolutely necessary to check a set of characteristics, but most importantly the shape of the hamulus and genital lobe. The presence or absence of facial markings, general coloration and shape of appendages form a set of characters that will in identification.
For the first time I saw a male of Macromia unca. It was hunting several meters high over the edge of a stream in the late afternoon, but well before females normally appear. Although this species was only recently described by Keith Wilson and only found this spring for the first time in Vietnam by Sebastien, it is fair to say this is a very common species in the hills of northern Vietnam. After having found it in Xuan Son NP, I also encountered it low in Tam Dao NP, and at various locations in Bac Kan Province, Ha Giang Province and Cao Bang Province. Invariably it appears in the last moments before dusk, to oviposit in streams while flying hurriedly in erratic flight over the surface.
|Female Macromia unca, with generally brownish wings and characteristic markings in yellow on S2-3, long antehumeral stripe, smoked yellow labium and yellow sides to the the antefrons paired with the yellow postclypeus.|
|This is the male of Macromia unca. It shares the characteristics of the female, but has hyaline wings. In addition is has superior appendages well short of the epiproct and a hamulus that forms an impressive hook.|
|Female Macromia moorei, showing reddish face and large yellow ring on S2.|
|Male of M. moorei, showing the large posterior oriented genital lobe. Note also the dorsum of S10, without a clear spike. In this specimen the ring on S2 is interrupted, like in pinratani.|
|Another male M. moorei, with a complete yellow ring on S2 and similarly the impressive genital lobe.|
|This reddish faced small species, with amber wing bases, has a reddish dorsum to the thorax with yellow antehumeral stripes just surpassing the middle|
|This is a truly magnificent smaller species. The appendages are extraordinary compared to all other males displayed here, rounded and flat, whereas the hamule has a wavy outline, a character shared with a few closely related species (like septima).|
|Like the female the male of Macromia clio has a bright yellow band across the postclypeus and the blackish center of the labium bordered by a large yellow fringe.|
|The female is a fine brightly colored insect, sharing the aforementioned characteristics of the male, but also with a heavily marked abdomen.|