Thursday, 11 February 2016

Two cool species from Cat Tien

Last weekend I visited Cat Tien National Park to spend a few days with James looking for some of his recent discoveries. One of these was a fine female of Zyxomma obtusum. This is a widespread species, occurring from the Indonesian archipelago to the south of Japan, but it was unclear to me how often it has been recorded in Vietnam. I had never seen it, although I keep an eye open for it at dusk all the time, and I know of no other records. Cuong does not mention it in his overview of Vietnamese records. So it was an exciting find when James ran into it; a find that sadly we could not duplicate. But when checking some of his photos we made another discovery. A Ceriagrion he had taken a picture of last July was C. indochinense! This is a species recorded as widespread from Thailand and also from Vietnam, although I have never seen it, so it is maybe not that common. But last July at a grassy swamp there had been many. We went to check the place, but clearly it is not around in February anymore. I am happy to show both species here and look forward to seeing them myself sometime.

A fine male of Ceriagrion indochinense. This species shares a citrine-yellow abdomen and bright green thorax with yellow face with C. fallax, but it has no black at the abdominal tip. Photo courtesy of James Holden.

The female of Zyxomma obtusum. The males are whitish and ghostlike when patrolling as dusk, but the females are less obvious. However, note the dark wing bases and banded abdomen.

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