Friday, 29 May 2015

New Year's Resolution 2 - the smallest of the small

May 9 and 10 I visited Hong Linh (the hometown of Toan) in Ha Tinh Province. This is the south of northern Vietnam. Objective was to see Nannophya pygmaea, the smallest of dragonflies. Close to Hong Linh is a pine forest with an open stream and it occurs here along that steam in smaller puddles on and between the rocks. Here another very small, if not as tiny, dragonfly occurs, although apparently in small numbers compared to the commoner Nannophya pygmaea, of which I saw a few dozen. I saw only two Nannophyopsis clara, one adult male and one freshly emerged. A strange little metallic thing that curls its abdomen constantly under its body. Both species are decidedly fly-like when they move about. The specimens I observed of N. clara were at slightly larger pools than N. pygmaea seemed to prefer.

N. clara is a species of southern China, including Taiwan, and Vietnam. N. pygmaea occurs over a much wider area. It is apparently common further south in Vietnam, but I never saw it in the north. That is, until now.

Nannophyopsis clara, a tiny metallic species that constantly curls its abdomen. This is a male.

Nannophya pygmaea, a male. It is actually redder than this, but my Canon fails to capture that colour well.

An immature male, lacking red

Another immature male

The pretty female of N. pygmaea, quite vividly marked

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