Sunday, February 27, 2011

27. Ischnura senegalensis (Rambur, 1842)

Number: 27
Family: Coenagrionidae
Genus: Ischnura 
Species: Ischnura senegalensis
Common name(s): Senegal Golden Dartlet
Thai name(s): แมลงปอเข็มบ่อผู้เขียวปลายฟ้า, แมลงปอเข็มนาผู้ปลายฟ้า
Habitat: Exposed ditches, drains, ponds and lakes (uplands & lowlands)
Province(s) sighted: Widespread (Khon Kaen); Nam Nao NP/environs (Petchabun);  Phu Kradueng, Phu Rua NP/environs (Loei); Widespread (Chiang Mai); Widespread (Chiang Rai); Khao Yai (Nakhorn Ratchasima); Khao Soi Dao (Chantaburi); Kabin Buri; 
 farmer's pond (Prachaub Khiri Khan).
Sightings (by me): Extremely common
In flight: All year
Species easily confused with: None

Another extremely common damselfly is Ischnura senegalensis. It can be seen everywhere in the lowlands and is quite an aggressive feeder. Both males and females are spotted in close proximity, though sometimes the females hang back from the water.

The male
The males have green and black stripes on the thorax, but the most obvious feature is the azure blue end segments on the abdomen. They are abundant, but are quite difficult to photograph because they are small and easily frightened. 

This one has no table manners whatsoever... it is eating breakfast (some kind of moth) and is having a pooh at the same time!

A 'blue' specimen ...
Apparently the blue specimens (possibly maturer specimens) are common, but I hardly ever see them. I think they look cool.

The crown jewels...
A close up of this male shows many parasites that live on odonata. This specimen has many different coloured ones... probably the same species, but at different stages.

An ancient female
The old female is much duller in appearance. This photo was captured early in the morning and was busily devouring its breakfast (Agriocnemis pygmaea, male) at Phu Kradeung.

The female
The female changes colour from bright red (below) to a green/beige colour as it matures. 

Hannibal Lecter eat your heart out...
This female is eating another damselfly (A. femina femina, teneral female) and has just bitten its head clean off so that it can devour the juicy bit of the thorax. Mmmmmm delicious!

The adult female
This female has lost its red colour and is more of a beige/green colour. She is perching on a twig in the baking hot afternoon sun.

A copula (in the wheel position)

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