Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Two little forest friends from Phu Quoc

There are two species of smallish dragonflies that occur in the forests of Phu Quoc towards the end of the dry season. And I really wanted to see both of them, because they are stunning. Neither of these two are rare, but they reach the eastern limit of their distribution in the very south of Vietnam. I was happy to see quite a few. Brachygonia oculata is the commoner of the two, but I also saw plenty of Orchithemis pulcherrima. The latter is small, the former is in fact tiny.

The male of Orchithemis pulcherrima stands out in the darkness of the forest with is bright red abdomen 

This is the same specimen in dorsal view

The immature female is not nearly as bright

And neither is the female. Her thorax pattern is somewhat reminiscent of the smaller Brachygonia, but apart from the general shape of the abdomen and her size another obvious difference is the pattern on S8-10, with black restricted to the area adjacent to the dorsal carina
This little stunner is Brachygonia oculata. The different colour bands on the abdomen are really something.

Another male in all its splendor

And the female, showing all blackish S8-10.

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