Sunday, 11 October 2015

Finally Matticnemis doi

In 2012 Matti Hamalainen published Platycnemis doi as a new species from Huu Lien Nature Reserve. In 2013 K-D Dijkstra, on the basis of both molecular and morphological evidence, moved the species to a new genus, Matticnemis. Matticnemis doi is the sole species in this genus. Obviously Matticnemis takes it name from Matti. The "doi" species name honors Do Manh Cuong.

I had been frustrated quite a bit that over the many visits a did to Huu Lien I had failed to connect with the species and this year around the end of June I spent several boiling hot days looking for it (Matti had collected the species on June 22). Huu Lien is still illegally logged and the area where the species occurs is opening up, which causes the forest to dry. Only very small sections of the streams are still covered by forest. Although I knew the exact place where Matti and Cuong had seen the species, it could not be found and I feared it had already gone extinct.

But today I went to Huu Lien to look for the possible Planaeschna species novum there and to my not small surprise I found two males close to the waterfall, perched on twigs on the forest floor along puddles from where the stream had resided. I was very happy. Of course I had not expected it in October, but apparently it has a long flight season. To my even larger surprise I later in the day found another 4 males and 2 females at the original location at the other side of the hills between the village and the waterfall. This means the species is in less immediate danger, as it occurs in several places, although these are both under a lot of pressure.

The first male Matticnemis doi close to the waterfall. A highly inconspicuous species, due to its dark colors. It is about the same size at Copera marginipes and C. vittata.

Another male, this one at the type location

The female has mostly the same pattern, but misses the swollen tibia of the last two pairs of legs. 

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