Monday, February 28, 2011

35. Coeliccia megumii (Asahina, 1984)

Number: 35
Family: Platycnemididae
Genus: Coeliccia
Species: Coeliccia megumii (s.f C. kazukoae)
Common name(s): N/A
Thai name(s): แมลงปอเข็มท้องยาวเมกูม
Habitat: Upland forested streams
Province(s) sighted:  Khao Yai NP (Nakhorn Ratchasima); Khao Soi Dao (Chantaburi); Pang Sida NP (Sa Kaew).
Sightings (by me): Uncommon
In flight (that I have seen): April-December (though probably all year)

Another species I found on my recent trip to Khao Soi Dao National Park (December 2010), is the rare and endemic Coeliccia megumii. Apparently, it's only found in eastern Thailand (Not true anymore - I spotted this species in Khao Yai!!).  I was fortunate to spot this species both at Khao Soi Dao NP and also, I saw one male at Pang Sida National Park in Sa Kaew.  

The male
It's one of the smaller Coeliccia species (similar to C. loogali), not only is it slim and small, it likes virtual darkness. Well, very dark areas at least! It took me a long time to spot any (I saw a tiny blue dot from its end segments moving) and even then they are in small numbers. I saw 3 males in total, 2 that were along a tiny off-shoot from the river - an area that had just a tiny pool of water and was really dark through tree cover. Unfortunately, they are really skittish and fly away at the slightest movement. I did mange to spot a third specimen. This one was right along the river, but in a tiny cut out, with a tiny pool of water at the bottom. I managed to get some good photos of this one and, amazingly, the sun poked through the trees and I managed to get a photo without flash.

This male I saw recently at an uplands pond at Khao Yai NP.

This one at Pang Sida NP

Playing dead...
Amazingly, though the other two were easily frightened, I managed to catch one with my fingers. It gives a good idea of its size (and ... no ... I never did get round to cutting those nails!) When I released him, he just played dead on a rock. He stayed there for about 30-40 seconds and I could touch him again if I wanted, before he flew high up into the canopy and out of reach. Something I have never seen before.

The female
I recently visited Khao Yai National Park (22/04/2011) and was very surprised to see this species again. AND I saw a female for the first time as part of a tandem. Unfortunately, they are not the best photos in the world, for many reasons: I had to use my 300 mm lens as my macro lens was wet (it only stops down to 5.6). Add that to the fact it was pouring with rain and almost dark under heavy tree cover at 1p.m., and my girlfriend was screaming out loud because of dozens of leeches were all over the footpath (I was bitten about 5 times), and you can imagine the problem of trying to take photos of two small toothpick-sized things. So all in all, not a bad effort really. The female is similar to the male. This is the same female as the tandem below.

The teneral female...
Upon a recent visit to Khao Yai NP, I visited a swampy pond that was tree-lined at one end. Here, I saw a number of teneral females and 1 mature male.

A copula...

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