Monday, 13 July 2015

An additional Coeliccia species from Sa Pa

I am running very much behind with my discoveries of this spring. On May 18 I was checking some small streams in the Love Waterfall area above Sa Pa and one of the species I hoped for was Coeliccia hoanglienensis, described in 2007 by Cuong from the same area. For Vietnam this is still the only location and I do not think it had been recorded after Cuong's record of 2005 of 2 males. But then again, who is looking. By now it has also been recorded from Lao DPR by Yokoi, so it may be more widespread, if thin on the ground. It is a lovely species. I saw just one male over a tiny stream, where it was perched on some grasses.

Another interesting Coeliccia that we now know to be more widespread is Coeliccia mingxiensis. I already mentioned seeing it in Xuan Son in April, but early May I also encountered several males and females on mount Mau Son in Lang Son Province. This too is clearly more widespread, but it also seems to fly only in spring.

With C. hoanglienensis I know have 14 species of Coeliccia in Vietnam. There are several known that I have not seen, like C. doisuthepensis and C. yamasakii, just to indicate the wonderful variety of this genus.

The dark male of Coeliccia hoanglienensis, with blue flanks and mint-green dorsal stripes. Note that it does not have a tail-light.

Close-up of the dorsal pattern of the thorax

The female of Coeliccia mingxiensis at Mau Son mountain on May 3. Note the grey-and-brown eyes and the distinct bands on the last segments.

The male at the same location

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