Sunday, 19 October 2014

Coeliccia galbina - a cool addition to the Vietnamese list

Sunday October 19 turned out to be a nice day, so I drove to Huu Lien. I had not been there for a while and wanted to collect a few of the Paracercion (yes, not Pseudagrion, we know that know thanks to Xin Yu) species novum for descriptive purposes. I did not expect new things so much, because we had visited Huu Lien many times last autumn. Indeed, most was familiar. But on the way back through the forest I noticed a large damselfly. Female Indocnemis orang, I thought, based on size and thorax pattern, but then I noticed vague orange appendages. Was this a male? Then what is this!? I did not dare take pictures in situ, but decided to catch it and take pictures in hand. Indeed, this was clearly an unknown Coeliccia species! At home I checked what literature I have and finally came upon Wilson & Reels' paper on damselflies in Guangxi (2003). They described a new Coeliccia, C. galbina. In fact, in the detail of the description it differs in the color of the stripes on the thorax, more yellow/green in the blue, and the same for the lateral markings on S1, but other characteristics are a close fit, and indeed penile organ and appendages fit too. This species is remarkable for the vague orange markings on S9-10, that have a hint of blue, and the pale orange appendages. I do not know how many records there are from Guangxi, presumably few if any besides the types. Two were collected in May, one teneral, from limestone karst hills in Longrui, in the Southwest of Guangxi. It is probably no coincidence that Huu Lien is also limestone karst hills. Longrui is about as far from Huu Lien as Hanoi. In other words, just around the corner.
The slightly more blue, not yellow/green in the thoracic markings I postulate as caused by the maturity of the specimen compared to the May specimens of the description. Such change is very common on blue Coeliccia species.

A fantastic find: Coeliccia galbina, male, new for Vietnam
The same male in dorsal view

The appendages and S9-10 in dorsal view. Note the strange orange-blue (purple) markings and pale orange appendages

Appendages in lateral view, the superiors with a ventral process with a black tooth

The penile organ, distinctive


  1. Absolutely. Strange also, because I have visited this trail many times before...