Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Ophiogomphus, Lamelligomphus and Melligomphus

Ophiogomphus longihamulus was described by Karube (2014) from Pia Oac Nature Reserve and I spent a great deal of time looking eagerly for it. Eventually, on July 8, I finally ran into an Ophiogomphus. But it was not to be. It was Ophiogomphus sinicus. In itself a great discovery, and especially interesting because it shares the same habitat and general area with O. longihamulus. That species was observed in May, so maybe O. sinicus appears later. The two species, by the way, can be separated on the basis of, indeed, the length of the hamulus.

Ophiogomphus sinicus, Cao Bang Province, July 8
In hand, the same male

And close-up of the appendages
 Two species of Lamelligomphus were also very common. I saw Lamelligomphus camelus in the provinces Phu Tho, Hoa Binh, Bac Kan, Ha Giang, Yen Bai, Lang Son and Cao Bang. Lamelligomphus hainanensis was much less common. I saw that species in Yen Bai on mountain streams and likewise in Pia Oac Nature Reserve in Cao Bang Province. It is smaller than either L. camelus or L. formosanus and has smooth dorsum to S7-10. Whereas L. camelus is active during the day and at dusk, L. hainanensis seems to be active only during the day.

An obelisking male Lamelligomphus camelus, a common species
Much less common, male Lamelligomphus hainanensis
Another male, right in the act of spraying some liquid from its abdomen. He did this several times. I have no idea what this behavior is.
Lamelligomphus hainanensis, male, in hand. Pattern on S1-2 close to L. formosanus, without the boomerang of L. camelus.

Female Lamelligomphus hainanensis hovering over a stream and preparing to drop egg-ball
A female in hand

Close-up of the female face, showing the double horn on the occipital ridge

 The last species of this posting is Melligomphus ardens. This species too is active at dusk. In fact, although I have saw it during the day at a river in Bac Kan Province, almost all observations this year (at Phu Tho, Cao Bang, and Bac Kan Provinces) were at dusk. At the places where I saw it at dusk, I did not see any during the day.

Melligomphus ardens, male, 26 June, the only male seen in bright day light

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