Thursday, 11 June 2015

Burmargiolestes melanothorax - easily overlooked

According to the IUCN website Burmargiolestes melanothorax is not uncommon and occurs in hill forest from Myanmar to Vietnam. Do & Dang indicated records from Lai Chau, but I had never seen them anywhere, until I finally caught up with the species in Ha Tinh Province, in hill forest close to the Laotian border, on May 9. If you do not pay attention to the appendages and abdominal tip, it is easily overlooked, because it inhabits the same kind of habitat as Agriomorpha fusca and looks a lot like that species, with its blackish thorax and ringed blackish abdomen and yellow face. It does however not have all-white S9-10 like A. fusca and that should be the give-away. Inside the forest where I saw it, it was not uncommon and shared its habitat with Devadatta cyanocephala, Protosticta satoi, and the same Drepanosticta sp. novum that also occurs on Ba Vi Mountain.

Burmargiolestes melanothorax male at Ha Tinh Province
Another male. Note the white half-ring between S8-9 and S9-10.

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