Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Anotogaster klossi - the redder the better?

Although the IUCN site, based on 2010 knowledge, classified Anotogaster klossi as DD (data deficient), Karube in 2012 in his overview of Vietnamese Anotogaster species described and illustrated the male, thus filling a gap in our knowledge. The species had already been published for Pia Oac by Asahina in 1998 and Karube mentions specimens from Pia Oac from 1996 and 1997. Moreover, he published a specimen from Bach Ma in Central Vietnam. In a recent post I published a male from Yen Bai Province, but I have seen this species regularly at Pia Oac between late May and late August, with a maximum of 10 on June 17. And although I had seen males until that day, it was on June 17 that I saw quite a few females, which served to support the initial identification of the males. The female is remarkable, not just because it is one of the largest dragonflies I have seen (about 11.5 cm including the ovipositor), but also because she is unique amongst Anotogaster species in having a largely orange abdomen, which is very striking both in flight and perched.

This is her, the orange monster! So big that I had to stretch uncomfortably to be able to take her picture in hand. 11.6 cm, this beauty.

Posed, but still pretty pleasing
The same female as in the previous two pictures

This male however properly perched, not posed. Note the characteristic orange areas on the ventral side of the abdomen, merging with the yellow rings, and the yellow base to the mandible

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