Sunday, February 27, 2011

31. Rhinocypha fenestrella (Rambur, 1842)

Number: 31
Family: Chlorocyphidae
Genus: Rhinocypha
Species: Rhinocypha fenestrella
Common name(s): Peacock Jewel
Thai name(s): แมลงปอเข็มน้ำตกสั้นผู้ดำ, แมลงปอเข็มก้นสั้นปีกเหลือบม่วง
Habitat: Forested upland streams and rivers
Province(s) sighted: Nam Nao NP (Petchabun);  Phu Kradueng NP, Phu Rua NP/environs (Loei); Widespread (Chiang Mai); Khao Yai (Nakhorn Ratchasima); Khao Soi Dao (Chantaburi).
Sightings (by me): Fairly common
In flight: All year
Another widespread river-dwelling damselfly that is simply divine, is Rhinocypha fenestrella fenestrella. I have seen this species at several rivers and streams throughout Thailand and it loves sunny areas, where there are lots of boulders in the river. 

The male
The male is simply beautiful. Once it is fully mature, it has lots of metallic colouration to its wings. Sometimes, a green tinge when younger which goes more of a blue/purple as it matures. They really are beautiful to look at. Not surprising, really, that its nickname is Peacock Jewel.

A male in the blazing sunshine

A younger male (with greenish colouration)

The female
The female is far less interesting to look at and is dull in comparison. The females are often confused with other similar species, but I think the markings on the female are quite distinct. Also, the wings are brown in colour.

You can find this species throughout the country all year at upland and some lowland rivers. Look for big boulders and rocky areas where the sun is bursting through the tree canopy. You're sure to find them there.

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