Sunday, February 27, 2011

32. Rhyothemis variegata variegata (Linnaeus, 1763)

Number: 32
Family: Libellulidae
Genus: Rhyothemis
Species: Rhyothemis variegata variegata
Common name(s): Common Picture Wing, Variegated Flutterer
Thai name(s): แมลงปอบ้านไร่ปีกทองเปื้อน
Habitat: Exposed areas, near or at ponds/lakes and slow streams (often fly in swarms high up)
Province(s) sighted: Widespread (Khon Kaen); Nam Nao environs (Petchabun); Khao Yai NP (Nakhorn Ratchasima); Widespread (Chiang Mai); Khao Kitchakut NP (Chantaburi); farmer's pond (Prachaub Khiri Khan).
Sightings (by me): Common
In flight (that I have seen): April-November
Species easily confused with: Rhyothemis phyllis phyllis

There are 5 Rhyothemis species of dragonfly and I have so far only seen 2 in Khon Kaen.  The female of Rhyothemis variegata variegata is very common and is often seen with R. phyllis phyllis. They tend to flutter and could easily be mistaken for a butterfly. They are often seen fluttering for long periods of time and only land for brief moments.
The male
The male is difficult to identify but has more spots on its wings than its counterpart R. phyllis phyllis. After two years of searching I finally managed to capture a photo of the male - now I can spot them more easily. 
The female
Unlike the male, the female is easy to separate the species as this female has much more patternation to its wings. They love the bright sunshine and only land momentarily - so have your cameras at the ready.

Very late in the afternoon I managed to pick this one up with my fingers!

You can see this species throughout the country most of the year and is a beautiful species, though it may take some time to spot the male. 

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