Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Indothemis limbata - new to Vietnam

On January 1 on Phu Quoc we checked a man-made pond close to the dam that closes off the Duong Dong Reservoir. A heavily vegetated pond, it had many dragonflies of a wonderful diversity of species.  My attention was drawn to a blue-and-black horizontally perching dragonfly that reminded me of a pond hawk Erythemis. This being south-east Asia, that of course was impossibly. Excited I got closer to it and recognized Indothemis limbata, a little recorded species known from India and Sri Lanka in the west to Thailand in the east (where Dennis Farrell has recorded it commonly in some places). It had not been recorded from Vietnam until now. Only recently (Ellenrieder et al., 2014) had its congener I. carnicata been recorded from Vietnam. This species has been found at little used swimming pools, indicating a preference for still, but deep, water with rocky surroundings. I. limbata appears to prefer heavily vegetated ponds. It is easily recognized by its blackish body, blackish-brown basal patches to the hind wings (with some limited marking of the forewings) and bluish pruinose abdomen. Although I saw at least 5-6 different males, I did not see any females.

A male in strong sunlight

Another male. Note the darkened wingtip crescents.

In dorsal view the dark brown basal patches to the hind wings are obvious

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