Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Burmagomphus magnus - expected in Vietnam

On June 4 Odonatours visited the area of Cao Bang during its tour of northern Vietnam. On this day James Holden joined us from his 'home' in Cat Tien. Together we checked a large stream not far away from the town. While we were pre-occupied with other Odes, James took a photo of what appeared to be an unknown Burmagomphus. Burmagomphus vermicularis and B. divaricatus both occur in the area, but this was clearly different. After a visit to Pia Oac on the 5th, we went back to the stream on the 6th and were lucky enough to relocate this wonderful gomphid. Upon capture the details of the appendages could be verified and the initial suspicion this might be B. intinctus seemed confirmed.
Burmagomphus intinctus is only known from several specimens collected from Fujian in China, which is truly not exactly around the corner. And indeed, further perusal of literature (thank you, James) showed it to be B. magnus, described in 2015 from Hekou district in Yunnan Province in China, which is just over the border from northern Vietnam. It was therefore to be expected.

The original photo by James Holden. What is that?!
Two days later, probably the same individual in hand.

The strong hook on the posterior hamule

And the rounded epiproct and somewhat sinuous superior appendages