Monday, February 28, 2011

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.

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