Sunday, 9 August 2015

Planaeschna cucphuongensis - luckily more widespread?

In 1998 Haruki Karube collected a male Planaeschna on June 2 from Cuc Phuong National Park, which he described in 1999 as Planaeschna cucphuongensis. The species appears rare at Cuc Phuong, but was also found by Ellenrieder et al. Yokoii has also recorded it in Lao, so it may be more widespread. Nevertheless, I was surprised to find it on May 11 in Pu Luong Nature Reserve, which is quite a bit higher in altitude than Cuc Phuong, although belonging to the same mountain range. Pu Luong lies west of Cuc Phuong. The location I found the species was about 60km west of central Cuc Phuong. First I caught a female and subsequently a teneral male. This male fit the description by Karube very well, albeit that it was very fresh. The female was mature, but a proper description of the female is lacking. I therefore wanted to verify the identity of these two specimens against specimens from Cuc Phuong. I had not been successful in locating the species in Cuc Phuong before, but on June 16 I went to the general location where it had been recorded by Ellenrieder et al. and I was lucky enough to find a female. This female is identical to the female from Pu Luong, supporting the identification of the teneral male. In view of the scarcity of the species at Cuc Phuong, this is a great to know. In stead of being a rare species restricted to the National Park, it ranges possibly wide both over an altitudinal range, as geographically all the way into Lao DPR.
The species is one of several (like P. guentherpetersi, P. tomokunii, and P. species novum from Xuan Son) that have a generally brown-orange face. It has limited dorsal markings on the abdomen. The female has the ventral half of S2 all yellow, and has extensive brown basal patches to both fore and hindwing.
Female Planaeschna cucphuongensis. Note extensive dark basal patches, large yellow ventral areas to S1-2 and base of S3. Also S4-7 with only mid-dorsal spots on the dorsum and none on S8-10, mirroring the pattern of the male.

Scan of dorsal view. Note lack of cross-veins in median space, indicating Planaeschna.

Face of the female from Cuc Phuong. Sort of uniform orange, although frons darker, especially towards dorsal side and labrum more yellow
The face of the Pu Luong female, too dark a photo, but even so it is obvious the pattern and colour are similar

The Pu Luong female, showing same characteristics as the female from Cuc Phuong, just somewhat fresher, as she is younger
Teneral male Planaeschna cucphuongensis. Photos taken in local hotel in the evening after allowing the specimen to dry. Sadly it could not take shape properly. Nevertheless patterning of abdomen, even if vague, can be seen. Mid-dorsal marks are the only markings on the dorsum of S4-7
Typical appendages in dorsal view, nicely rounded on inner edge in apical half. Identical to holotype description.

The face of the teneral male, indicating it will likely be darker on the frons (and postclypeus) when mature.

Ventral view against hotel bedding. Median space without cross-veins indicating Planaeschna. Anal loop 6-celled and triangle 3-4 celled in fore and hindwing (description of holotype 4-5 celled)

No comments:

Post a Comment