Tuesday, December 14, 2010

5. Indolestes birmanus (Selys, 1891)

Number: 5
Family: Lestidae
Genus: Indolestes
Species: Indolestes birmanus
Common name(s): N/A
Thai name(s): แมลงปอเข็มปีกกึ่งกางกึ่งหุบพม่า
Habitat: Uplands ponds and ditches, often hidden deeply in the surrounding shrubbery
Provine(s) sighted: Phu Kradeung NP (Loei)
Sightings (by me): Fairly common at Phu Kradueng
In flight (from what I have seen): October-December
Species easily confused with: Lestes elatus

A rare and difficult-to-spot damselfly I saw at Phu Kradueng this December was Indolestes birmanus. I saw just one female the first time I visited last October and just thought it was an immature L. elatus or similar until it was ID'd by Noppadon Makbun. 

The male
Smaller than the Lestes genus, it also has its wings together like most damselflies. However, I did notice that all the specimens I saw, the wings did fall down to one side of the abdomen. Something I've not noticed with other species. The colour is quite dull, making them hard to spot. The markings on the thorax seem to have a slight metallic green sheen to them and the end segments are white.




Close up early in the morning


Male in the hand


 
The female
Very similar to the male, but slightly more robust and not as easily frightened. The females stayed a distance from the water's edge. 



Unlike the female, the male was far less common and was really skittish and flew away quickly when I saw one. I did see two males at Sat Annodat (the big pond at Phu Kradueng) but it took me a long time for me to get close enough to get decent photos. Oh, and as I was standing knee-deep in mud trying to get a photo of one, I didn't realise that I was under attack from lots of leeches. I have seen them from October-December at Phu Kradueng, but I don't know exactly when they are in flight.

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