Thursday, 24 December 2015

Coeliccia information and a new Coeliccia from Da Lat*

*Adjusted on April 15, 2016, after publication of this species in Zootaxa by Rory Dow as C. suoitia.

A few days back Philip Steinhoff sent me the links to the very interesting article he just published together with Gabriele Uhl on "Taxonomy and nomenclature of some mainland SE-Asian Coeliccia species (Odonata, Platycnemididae) using micro-CT analysis". It is worth the read, not only because of the interesting technique used to make visible the genital ligulae in old museum specimens, but also because it sorts out the names of some of the commoner Coeliccia species from Vietnam, by making clear the synonymy. For my blog this means that I have to change C. acco into C. pyriformis, I already used C. scutellum and C. cyanomelas (not C. tomokunii nor C. onoi).

Please use the below information if you want to access the paper. Do not forget to read on below the message that I copy from an email by Philip.

You can either get it straight on the Zootaxa homepage:
There, you can also get the 3D PDFs, which are published as supplement:

Or you can get it from Philip's RG page:

While on the subject of Coeliccia, yesterday I was birding in Ta Nung Valley in Da Lat and noticed an interesting Coeliccia. It had white superior appendages and blackish inferiors, which were also clearly longer. Otherwise it had a largely blackish abdomen, with minor markings on S10 or in some individuals also S9. The thorax had a yellow antehumeral stripe on black dorsum. It was clearly an unknown species (to me). Subsequently Rory informed me this is likely a species recently described and soon to be published. So no work to do for me, but a nice find. Below a few shots of specimens in hand and in the field.

The cool Coeliccia suoitia from Da Lat. This seems the mature type, of which I saw four.
Thorax in somewhat dorsal view. Note the white horns on the prothorax.
White superiors and longer dark-grey inferiors. In another individual the spots on S9 were absent and those on S10 more bluish and smaller
In lateral view some bluish on inferiors and lower part of superiors dark grey.

Another male out and about

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Holden - James Holden... James is back in Cat Tien - Microgomphus chelifer

I learned the other day that James is back in Cat Tien National Park. James already spent quite a bit of time there looking for dragonflies in the recent past and now is looking to add more to the list. A few days back he contacted me on an unidentified small gomphid. I was happy to help out and could identify it as Microgomphus chelifer thelyphonus. This species is known from Thailand, but new to the Vietnamese list. There is another Microgomphus species in Vietnam, M. jurzitzai, described by Haruki Karube, also from the south of Vietnam, but that species has quite different appendages. The epiproct for instance is much more "hooked". Here below a few shots of this interesting discovery.
James was also able to take a nice photo of Burmagomphus asahinai, which I also reproduce here. Let's hope he will discover more goodies in the next few months!

Female Microgomphus chelifer thelyphonus, courtesy of James Holden, at Cat Tien NP, 11 Dec 2015
The male of the same species, in hand, same date and place, courtesy of James Holden
Appendages of the male in dorsal view. What looks like two pins extending from the epiproct are in fact two branches originating from the cerci.

And a nice photo of a species already recorded from Cat Tien by James: male Burmagomphus asahinai, photo taken in 22 August 2015, courtesy of James Holden

Sarasaeschna gaofengensis - The Tu Le species novum has a name

I received the article describing Sarasaeschna gaofengensis Yeh & Kiyoshi, 2015  last week from Wen-Chi. The description is based on a male caught in mid June at Gaufeng, Lufeng county, in Yunnan Province (China). The specimen was collected at a little over 2000m altitude. When I notified Wen-Chi this year in May that I had caught an unknown Sarasaeschna in Yen Bai Province, he alerted me to the fact that the very same species was being described and would be published soon, from Yunnan. Sarasaeschna species have a short flight period and are generally difficult to find, so discovering them almost simultaneously, give or take a year, in China and Vietnam, is quite a coincidence. In Vietnam the species was found at approximately 1000m asl, so considerably lower than in Yunnan. Below I reproduce the picture of a male in lateral view and come-ups of the appendages.

It has a name! Male Sarasaeschna gaofengensis from Tu Le, Yen Bai Province, 15 May 2015.

Appendages in dorsal view

And the same in ventral view