Saturday, February 26, 2011

18. Agriocnemis pygmaea (Rambur, 1842)

Number: 18
Family: Coenagrionidae
Genus: Agriocnemis
Species: Agriocnemis pygmaea
Common name(s): Pygmy Dartlet, Wandering wisp, 
Wandering Midget, Pygmy Wisp
Thai name(s): แมลงปอเข็มแคระธรรมดา
Habitat: Exposed grassy edges of ponds/ditches/lakes, lowlands & uplands
Province(s) sighted: Widespread (Khon Kaen); Nam Nao NP/environs (Petchabun); Khao Yai NP (Nakhorn Ratchasima); Khao Soi Dao (Chantaburi); Widespread (Chiang Mai); Widespread (Kanchanaburi); Koh Chang; Bangkok.
Sightings (by me): Extremely common
In flight (that I have seen): All year
Species easily confused with: Agriocnemis feminaAgriocnemis minima
 
The third species of Agriocnemis I have seen is Agriocnemis pygmaea, which is extremely common throughout Thailand. Any waterway is sure to have one or two of these little fellows hanging around. They are not easy to spot and because of their size are difficult to photograph, but they are worth the effort. 
The male
The male is pretty easy to identify. It is similar to A. femina femina, but the anal appendages are different. A. pygmaea has two small anal appendages. The male's thorax becomes pruinosed as it matures.
 
 
 
Here is a fully mature male. You can clearly see how the thorax takes on a whiteish colour. Also, the orange end segments fade and become black.
 
 
 
The female
The female takes on many colours throughout its life. Below is the 'green' adult female.
 
 
Here is a slightly younger female. It still has a touch of brown.
 
 
This is a sub-adult female, which is more of a reddish-brown colour.

 
Here is a newly emerged female. It will only be a few hours old. You can still make out the markings.
 
 
For the first recently, I saw a female that also had become pruinose. Shows that I am still learning!
 

Early morning breakfast ... unfortunately


The copula
This is a fairly common sight, here in the "wheel" position. However, it is really difficult to get good photos as they are so small and live close to the ground in the grasses.