Wednesday, 24 June 2015

A third Sympetrum species for Vietnam - Sympetrum eroticum ardens

On June 23 I visited the Sa Pa area again, in the hope of finding Somatochlora dido. Alas, it was (yet again) not to be. But I did run into a very attractive Sympetrum species at several locations, both at the Love Waterfall and just below Sa Pa along a stream. It was immediately obvious from the lack of clear yellow tones that this was not Sympetrum hypomelas. The face with the "sunglasses" and the hooked appendages also were not in line with either S. hypomelas or S. speciosum. In fact these fitted very well S. eroticum, a species I know from Japan. But that does not have such extensive black markings on the abdomen. Looking into it later, I found that this characteristic fits very well the other subspecies of S. eroticum, S. e. ardens, which has also been recorded from the south of China, for instance from Yunnan and Guangxi, just around the corner, so to speak. Nevertheless, to my knowledge it had not been recorded from Vietnam previously.

The first male Sympetrum eroticum ardens, perched in the little swamp of the Love Waterfall area. Note the hooked appendages and black spots on the abdomen.

A second male at the same area, still younger and thus more yellow on the thorax

The "monkey face" with the distinctive spectacles.

Yet another male, this one caught about 6km from Sa Pa in the direction of Lao Cai along a stream.

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