Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Another Devadatta - and easy to boot

9 and 10 May, it seems ages ago, I visited Ha Tinh Province with Toan, close to the border with Lao PDR. On both days I saw at a small trickle under dense forest cover a species I had hoped to find for a while now: Devadatta cyanocephala. Unlike the Devadatta ducatrix / kompieri doublet of the previous posting, this is a distinctive species. Not only has the male markings on the thorax, both male and female have the bluest faces imaginable.

Devadatta cyanocephala is known from Lao and several provinces in Vietnam, including Ha Tinh. As far as I know this is the furthest north is has been recorded until now. When I revisited the place in June I could not find any, so possibly  it is a spring species.

Male Devadatta cyanocephala. Like congeners darkened wingtips. But it has pale lines on the thorax over the sutures.

Under this angle the distinctive blue face becomes apparent

And right from the front it can no longer be ignored: this is a blue face. It makes it easy to separate this species from its cousins. Imaging being a small bug and being devoured by something so blue! What a way to go.
Here is a not so good shot in hand of the female. Note the broad stripe over the flank.

Her face is still blue, but not as blue blue as that of the male

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