Wednesday, December 15, 2010

7. Lathrecista asiatica asiatica (Fabricius, 1798)

Number: 7
Family: Libellulidae
Genus: Lathrecista
Species: Lathrecista asiatica asiatica
Common name(s): Asiatic Blood Tail, Pruinosed Bloodtail, Longwinged Skimmer, Scarlet Grenadier
Thai name(s): แมลงปอบ้านเอเชีย
Habitat: The edge of forested areas
Province(s) sighted: Phu Wiang NP, Nam Pong NP & environs (Khon Kaen); Khao Yai NP (Nakhorn Ratchasima); Nam Nao NP (Loei); Koh Chang; Koh Samet; pond nr. Sai Yok Yai (Kanchanaburi).
Sightings (by me): Common at Khao Yai and Koh Chang
In flight (that I know of): April-December
Species easily confused with: Potamarcha congenerAgrionoptera insignis

A beautiful dragonfly is Lathrecista asiatica asiatica. Until recently, I had only spotted this species in two places, but I have seen it regularly in the last few trips, especially at Khao Yai NP and Koh Chang, where they were very common. 
 
The male
The male is identifiable with its bright red abdomen and black caudal appendages. The thorax is heavily pruinosed in grey/blue. They are quite shy and fly away with the slightest of movement.










The young male
The young male is quite different to that of the male. Its thorax isn't pruinosed allowing you to see the thoracic markings clearly and their abdomen is more of an orange colour not blood red. Also, the coloured wings tips are more obvious.




 
The female
The female is much paler than the male (more like the young male) and is easily mistaken for the extremely common Potomarcha congener. The markings on the thorax, however, are different and the thorax is more of an orange colour. It doesn't have large caudal appendages like P. congener either.
 

 
 
You can find this species at the edge of forested areas, throughout the country. They like to perch on branches in the trees, often above small, muddy pools of water. Sometimes, though, they perch really high up and are difficult to photograph. 

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