Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Diplacodes nebulosa - another mystery solved


Where is Diplacodes nebulosa? I asked myself that question often. I had seen it once on a trip to the Mekong Delta in wintertime. That was a work-related trip before we moved to Vietnam and I had never seen it since. Now the riddle was solved. Although the species has apparently been recorded in the north, it certainly has not been seen there by me. Now in Cat Tien I found it present in the dried out and grassy fishponds, where fresh specimens abounded. So, it can be very common in the south, but as a wintertime (dry-season) species. Adult males are grey with dark wingtips, which makes them easy to recognize. The female has a neat black-and-white pattern on the abdomen and thorax. Once known, also easy to recognize.

Female Diplacodes nebulosa with typical broad black dorsal stripe on abdomen and blackish thorax with light stripes.

An adult male, easy to recognize because of small size, blueish-grey colour and dark-brown wingtips.
Another male showing the distinctive wing pattern
And obelisking in the hot sun
Immature male showing the same abdominal pattern as the female, the same thorax pattern too, but the wing tips are already somewhat darkened.

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