Monday, February 28, 2011

42. Prodasineura verticalis (Selys, 1860)

Number: 42
Family: Platycnemididae
Genus:  Prodasineura
Species:  Prodasineura verticalis
Common name(s): N/A
Thai name(s): แมลงปอเข็มหางเข็มส้ม
Habitat: Forested upland streams
Province(s) sighted: Doi Suthep, Doi Inthanon; Koh Chang environs (Trat); 
Lamklong Ngu NP (Kanchanaburi).
Sightings (by me): Uncommon (most common in Chiang Mai)
In flight (that I have seen): March-May (though probably much longer)

When I went to Chiang Mai back in March-May 2010, I noticed a species of Prodasineura that I instantly fell in love with. Prodasineura verticalis. Since I saw this species for the first time, Noppadon Makbun told me that there are 3 distinct forms of this species; "Northern", "Eastern" and "Western" forms, which I have been lucky enough to spot and photograph. Without Noppadon mentioning this, I would have over-looked the other forms. If you compare the three males, you can see significant differences. Noppadon isn't sure which is the true form of the species. It's a fantastic looking species and is the 3rd Prodasineura damselfly I have added to my blog.

The "Northern" male
The male has wonderful red, black and orange stripes on the thorax and the abdomen is completely black except for the caudal appendages which are a greyish colour. This specimen I saw in Chiang Mai (25/03/2010).

The "Eastern" male
The thoracic dorsal markings are much broader than the "Northern" specimen. Other markings are slightly different too. Caudal appendages are also black, not greyish (as above). This specimen I saw at a small river, Koh Chang (13/04/2011).

The "Western" male
Though not the best angle in the world, you can see that the markings on the thorax are different again to the two above (they are slimmer and straigher) and the caudal appendages are black. This one I saw at Kanchanaburi (26/03/2011).

The "Northern" female
The female looks similar to all species in the Prodasineura genus, except it has a slightly red tinge to the thoracic markings. Again, this specimen I saw in Chiang Mai.

The "Eastern" female
Again, even with the female, the thoracic markings are much slimmer than the Northern form. This specimen was ovipositing at a small river, Koh Chang.

An "Eastern" copula, ovipositing

The "Western" female
This isn't a very good shot and so comparing this specimen is difficult. It was raining and under heavy tree cover, making it really dark. It was also too high up to see dorsally and flew away when it tried to get above it. I will get a better example soon. I saw this female in Kanchanaburi.

41. Prodasineura coerulescens (Fraser, 1932)

Number: 41
Family: Platycnemididae
Genus: Prodasineura
Species: Prodasineura coerulescens
Common name(s): N/A
Thai name(s): แมลงปอเข็มหางเข็มผู้ปลายแฉก
Habitat: Tree-lined rivers, lowlands
Province(s) sighted: River Chi (Khon Kaen)
Sightings (by me): Rare
In flight (that I have seen): November-March

The second species of the genus Prodasineura I ever saw, was Prodasineura coerulescens. I was taking photos at the River Chi, Khon Kaen back in December 2008. I thought I had come across another P. autumnulis, but then noticed its azure blue colouration. Then it hit me... it's a new species for me! I have since seen 3-4 males and a female. That said, I haven't spotted this species of damselfly for over 2 years.

The male
Very similar to a young P. autumnulis in appearance, but has wonderful azure blue stripes on its thorax, end segments and its eyes. It is also fairly easy to get close to and photograph. 

I recently returned to the same area [23.xi.13] and saw about 6-7 and the same numbers of females within a very small area of banking, deep undercover.

The male in flight
Like many species in the Prodasinerua genus, they tend to hover for long periods before they settle again (often not until they have caught something to eat).

The female
The female resembles P. autumnulis. However, I saw a number females roosting along with males. The only difference I can see between the two females is that the abdomen of P. coerulescens seems slightly longer and, like the male, is fairly easy to approach.

This female I saw back in 2009.

I have only spotted this species in Khon Kaen and it is seldom seen even here. It is apparently known along the west of Thailand, but I don;t think it is commonly seen.

40. Prodasineura autumnulis (Fraser, 1922)

Number: 40
Family: Platycnemididae
Genus:  Prodasineura
Species: Prodasineura autumnulis
Common name(s): Black Threadtail
Thai name(s): แมลงปอเข็มหางเข็มดำ, แมลงปอเข็มเรียวดำ
Habitat: Tree-lined or exposed rivers, streams and ponds (uplands & lowlands)
Province(s) sighted: River Chi (Khon Kaen); Nam Nao NP/environs, waterfall, Lomsak environs (Petchabun);  Phu Kradueng, Phu Rua NP/environs (Loei); Widespread (Chiang Mai); Widespread (Chiang Rai); Khao Yai (Nakhorn Ratchasima); Nakhorn Nayok; Khao Soi Dao NP, Khao Kitchakut NP/environs (Chantaburi).
Sightings (by me): Extremely common
In flight (that I have seen): All year

When I first visited the River Chi, Khon Kaen back in early 2008, I spotted my first ever Prodasineura species - Prodasineura autumnulis. I took a number of photographs of both the male and female. In this area they are in small numbers, but you often see one or two there. For over a year, I thought that the sub-adult male was fully grown. It wasn't until I went  to another place south of Nakhon Sawan that I noticed the adult males are jet black. At first I thought it was a different species, but research proved otherwise.

The male (various stages)
The adult male is black on the thorax and abdomen and also becomes slightly pruinosed with age. It is easily frightened and quite hard to photograph. This is the most common stage.

As the male ages, it changes slightly. This specimen, I captured in Nakhorn Nayok, has slight pruinescence to the side of the thorax (photo 28/03/2011 - added 02/04/2011) ... 

... and this one is completely pruinosed save a small greenish-bronze? part of the thorax. I must admit, this is the only specimen I have seen like this. It was at a largish waterfall in Lomsak province, Petchabun (14/07/12). Though it looks right, it acted differently to all the others around it and the colours add to the mystery. Maybe, just maybe, it may be a slightly different form. Can anyone shed light on this?

The teneral male
This male has just emerged and you can still see his exuvia at the base of the stick he has climbed.

The female
The female is almost identical to the sub-adult male, but the abdomen is far more robust. Like the sub-adult male, it tends to hide away and is less commonly seen.

A newly emerged female...

Although it is called Prodasineura autumnulis, it is common all year round. It prefers slow moving rivers and streams, but I have also seen it at small ponds.

39. Coeliccia loogali (Fraser in Laidlaw, 1932)

Number: 39
Family: Platycnemididae
Genus: Coeliccia 
Species: Coeliccia  loogali and Coeliccia c.f. loogali
Common name(s): N/A
Thai name(s): แมลงปอเข็มท้องยาวลูกัล, แมลงปอเข็มท้องยาวผู้ฟ้าเมียเหลือง
Habitat: Heavily forested uplands streams
Province(s) sighted: Nam Nao NP (Petchabun - c.f.);  Phu Rua NP (Loei - c.f.). 
Doi Suthep, Doi Inthanon (Chiang Mai - true form); 
Sightings (by me): Scarce, except for Nam Nao NP, where they are fairly common
In flight (that I have seen): April-October (though could be longer)

The 6th (and 7th really!) damselfly of the Coeliccia species I have seen is Coeliccia c.f. loogali. Compared to most of the others I have seen it is rather dull. According to Noppadon Makbun, this is possibly a sub-species of C. loogali as the markings on the thorax are considerably different, but yet hasn't been described, hence c.f. (close form).

The male (c.f.)
When I visited Nam Nao National Park in October 2008, I didn't notice this species for a long time. On the 3rd day, I was walking along the pathway which runs along the river at the headquarters and I noticed a tiny little blue blob hovering near the ground. It was C. c.f. loogali. Another species for me! Then I noticed many of them. They love extremely dark areas and almost hug foliage on the ground. The marks are pretty easy to distinguish, except for the markings on the end segments of the abdomen which change with age.

The male (true form)
I saw a true form male on a recent visit to Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai. Here you can see how the thoracic markings are somewhat different. Also the very tips of the caudal appendages are whitish in colour, whereas they remain black on the c.f. specimens.

The copula
I was also lucky enough to spot a copula while at Phu Rua NP, though it was seriously difficult to get anywhere near them so I am happy with this photo.

The sub-adult male (true form)
This is the only true C. loogali I have spotted, when I visited Doi Inthanon, Chiang Mai last April. It is a young male that will change significantly in colour as it ages. You can also see how the thoracic markings are much slimmer and longer than the different form of the mature adult above.

The female (true form)
Here is a true form old female I also saw in Chiang Mai at the same time as the sub-adult above. It is identifiable as it has a kind of cross-shape dorsally at the end segments.

I am not sure how common the undescribed C. c.f. loogali is, or its distribution. But if you visit Nam Nao National Park, if you look very carefully in the darkened areas, you are sure to find this species.

38. Coeliccia chromothorax (Selys, 1891)

Number: 38
Family: Platycnemididae
Genus: Coeliccia
Species: Coeliccia chromothorax
Common name(s): N/A
Thai name(s): แมลงปอเข็มท้องยาวอกเหลือง, แมลงปอเข็มท้องยาวสันหลังเหลือง
Habitat: Upland forested streams
Province(s) sighted: Nam Nao NP (Petchabun);  Phu Rua NP (Loei); Widespread (Chiang Mai).
Sightings (by me): Fairly common
In flight (that I know of): March-October

The fifth damselfly from the Coeliccia genus I have added to my blog, is Coeliccia chromothorax. This was the 2nd Coeliccia species I ever saw and again it was at Nam Nao National Park in October 2008.

The male
The male is easy to spot as it not only has striking yellow/orange and black colouration to the thorax and abdomen, it also likes to perch on branches and leaves in the sunshine. 

Male, in the hand ... and playing dead. Something I have seen a lot with this genus. He flew away unharmed moments later.

The female
The female is much more difficult to identify as it is similar to other females from the Coeliccia genus. The adult female has two separate white marks on the end segments of the abdomen and is also seen close to the male, but often in darker areas.

If you visit Nam Nao National Park you are sure to see this species if you walk along the river near the headquarters.

37. Ceriagrion olivaceum olivaceum (Laidlaw, 1914)

Number: 37
Family: Coenagrionidae
Genus: Ceriagrion
Species: Ceriagrion olivaceum olivaceum
Common name(s): Rusty Marsh Dart
Habitat: Small ponds (uplands & lowlands)
Province(s) sighted: Nam Nao National Park (Petchabun); Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary (Chaiyaphum); River Chi and Nam Phong NP (Khon Kaen); Khao Soi Dao NP (Chantaburi).  Sightings (by me): Uncommon
In flight (that I have seen): November-February

I saw a female of this species about two years ago in Khon Kaen, but I never seen one since. When I visited Khao Soi Dao National Park last December, however, I saw several! Near the entrance there was a small pond that had a number of species. Just away from the water's edge in the grasses, I saw a Ceriagrion species and soon realised that it was Ceriagrion olivaceum. A new species for me! There were a number of females, but I only saw one male. Since then, I have spotted males at a small number of other places, though I am yet to spot another female.

The male
Both sexes are very similar, but the male has a little more yellow/brown colouration to the abdomen. That said, I have now seen many specimens and the colours seem to vary slightly, especially on the abdomen.

This male from Phu Khieo WS, has a reddish upper abdomen and is almost white on the underside.

Another from Nam Nao NP, with a more uniform brownish abdomen.

The female
The female is paler in colour but both sexes have a distinct 'olive' coloured thorax, which I presume gives it its name.

Here is the first female I saw at Khao Soi Dao NP.

It seems to be more common than I first thought and that it may easily be overlooked. It is quite difficult to spot and tends to hide away in the long grasses.