Friday, 26 June 2015

Finally Atrocalopteryx laosica

On June 24 I decided to check out the Cat Cat Touristic Area at Sa Pa as a last resort measure to find Atrocalopteryx laosica. The Sa Pa area is the only site for the species known from Vietnam and although I searched a lot in the area, I had yet failed to find it. But this day was a very dark and cloudy, rainy day to start with and I decided that the Cat Cat area might at least show some new habitat and who knows, a nice stream. This proved just right. At the bottom of the touristic area there is in fact a very nice broad stream bordered by a paved, but almost unused, trail. Following it the weather cleared just a bit and just when I was thinking it was not to be, I noticed a male A. laosica perched on plants along a small stream coming of the hills. It was also the only specimen I saw there, but one is enough. Clearly this is not only a limited distribution species, it is also a low density one.

Atrocalopteryx laosica was transfered to the genus Atrocalopteryx by Matti Hamalainen in 2014, from Calopteryx.

Atrocalopteryx laosica, male, at Sa Pa. Note the lighter bases and tips to the wings, plus the marginally darker sub apical band.

Another shot of the same, beautiful, specimen

And briefly held, to get a shot of the open wings.

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