Saturday, 22 October 2016

Xuan Son in late October

With apologies for the lack of postings in recent months. I have been busy writing papers.

Saturday October 21 I decided to go to Xuan Son. I have had little time recently, but now is the time the Planaeschna fly there. In fact this was the only weekend available to go, so although the weather was not very promising, I went anyway. For three years I have been catching a small pale-faced Planaescha female, but never a male. I was getting a little desperate, as this was the last chance I had.

The weather was a little better than expected and quite soon I caught another female. Then several hours nothing, but fly by's of the large Planaeschna spec. nov. female and of female P. guentherpetersi. I did in the meantime tun into something unexpected: a male Coeliccia chromothorax. The 8th species of this genus along this 1.5 km stream. No idea how it got there. It is a striking species and I had never seen it on a large number of previous visits. Strange.

I also found a female Cryptophaea vietnamensis. In itself that is not strange, but it was covered in algae. I remember a discussion on this on the Facebook page on neotropical dragonflies. I do not remember ever having seen it in Vietnam, but apparently it does happen here too.

And then I caught a male "large" Planaeschna spec. nov. and shortly after a much smaller one: the pale-faced male! I now have the males of all four species of Planaeschna occurring on this particular stream, 3 of them new to science.

Female Cryptophaea vietnamensis. Note the algae on the wings and abdominal tip!

Male Coeliccia chromothorax. Exciting find!
And there it is: Male pale-faced Planaeschna spec. nov. at last!

Appendages very different from P. guentherpetersi

And its pale face