Saturday, 26 July 2014

Rainy day in Huu Lien

Saturday July 24 I ventured to Huu Lien. Like Sebastien's visit last week in Xuan Son, to turned into a major wash out. After a good start in the forest or what is left of it, thunder sounded and the heavens opened. I found large parts of the reserve inundated anyway, presumably the result of the typhoon passing last week. As usual, a visit to Huu Lien gave mixed emotions. There is a lot to see, but on the way there I was met by dozens of motorbikes carrying logs and passing unnoticed by the entry gate. Clearly these are not people from inside the reserve using the forest. And the trail to the waterfall, described by Cuong as in largely pristine forest, is now open in several parts, where trees have been cut and right there turned into coal in shallow pits. It is really sad. Several people where busy producing coal while I was there and of course this continues day after day. Somehow nobody does anything about it.

Nevertheless the forest was full of Atrocalopteryx atrocyana, a fabulous damsel. I had not seen it yet this year, but now there were a great many fluttering about. Not easy to get good pictures, as they are both shy and because there is a need for flash in the dark surroundings where they were lurking. As distance varies, so does the lighting.

Female Atrocalopteryx atrocyana. If the forest disappears near the stream, it will be a severe blow for this species.

Male of the same species. The flash brings out the beautiful blue wings. Note also the long spikes on all legs.

Another male
Another great find was a male Rhinocypha of the drusilla group. It is different in detail from the species inhabiting Xuan Son. Last year I saw only a few and could only take pictures of one. This is the first for this year. In Xuan Son I have not seen its sibling species yet.

Note the extensive pattern of red on S9-10, but also extensive red on the remainder of the abdomen, but restricted to the dorsum of S2.
Another speciality that was present in good numbers is the small Coeliccia that also occurs in Cuc Phuong. I hope it description and name will be published soon.

Coeliccia sp, the female

And the male. A pretty species for sure, a lot smaller than most.
And lastly, I ran into a bundle of ovipositing Prodasineura croconota. Interesting I hope are the shots of the female.

Hovering in the dark, not easy, hence not in focus

The female of Prodasineura croconota

And the male, better known

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