Saturday, 15 April 2017

Amphicnemis gracilis - little critters on Phu Quoc

Last year August I went to Phu Quoc Island to find a few species I had not yet seen there, but that had been recorded from the island. One of these was Amphicnemis gracilis. It turns out it is really localized and frequents swampy forest with lots of ferns. It was not at all easy going, but once I knew how to find them, I saw plenty. They are inconspicuous, sometimes hanging from tips of leaves, but also sitting on twigs and other stuff on the muddy ground. The immature females are pretty, with their red thorax. When maturing they become bluish green. The males are shiny metallic green, with intricate white and very vulnerable appendages. All males had a recurved spike on the prothorax that had not been described for this species, but the caudal appendages are in line with what you would expect of A. gracilis. The genus is, according to Rory Dow, extremely difficult, so I decided to just accept the spike as a local peculiarity. This is the only place in Vietnam where it is known to occur.

A male Amphicnemis gracilis. They hang out in the dark, so it is all flash work.

Another male
And yet another
These fleshy things are the caudal appendages
And here you can see the recurved spike from the posterior lobe of the prothorax
The really pretty immature female

And this is what she looks like all grown-up and ready for action. You might think it is a different species, but no.


3 comments:

  1. Found it this March in Ream Peninsula in Cambodia (not far from your place). Have one female and three males. The same horns!

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  2. The article was not only a good read but very insightful. I have a query though. How would you target a niche where there are not many blogs and those that are there are not kept up to date and have a low/very niche readership? Any tips would be gratefully received. animal image

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  3. Hi there. Great site. Am planning a trip to Vung Tau starting Sept 1. Thinking of spending time around there and also the Mekong. Can you give me any good locations near VT or the Mekong? Thanks

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