Friday, March 11, 2011

108. Pseudothemis jorina (Förster, 1904)

Number: 108
Family: Libellulidae
Genus: Pseudothemis
Species: Pseudothemis jorina
Common name(s): Yellow-banded Skimmer, Banded Skimmer
Thai name(s): แมลงปอบ้านโคนท้องขาว
Habitat: Exposed, mostly tree-lined weedy ponds and lakes (uplands & lowlands)
Province(s) sighted: Widespread (Khon Kaen); Nam Nao NP/environs (Petchabun); Widespread (Chiang Rai); Khao Yai (Nakhorn Ratchasima); small pond, Kabin Buri.
Sightings (by me): Very common, but to get a decent photo ... ultra rare!
In flight (that I have seen): February-October

A widespread species from the Libellulidae family that I have seen many times, but really struggled to get good photos of, is Pseudothemis jorina. It is instantly recognisable with its white band on the abdomen and white face. The rest of it is black. It also has minor black colouration to the base of the hindwings. 
The male
The adult male is black with a white band on S1-3. The face is also white. The young males are more yellow than white.

Fortunately (for me not the dragonfly), I saw a dead one when I visited a waterfall in Chiang Rai early one morning. The ants had just got to it, but I managed to get a good photo of it before it was devoured (if you look closely, you can see an ant at the terminal segments). 
Male in flight
This was the best photo of a male before finding the dead one. They are rarely seen in Khon Kaen and the ones I have seen, never seem to land.

Teneral male
I finally found a teneral male hiding deep in some bushes at Nam Nao Helicopter Pad recently. It made me really happy to finally see one. It's similar to the male, but has a yellow band and is more of a brown colour. It will become white and black with age.

The teneral female
What's more, there was a young female close by. This is the first female I have managed to photograph successfully... all the other times are attempts at photographing her ovipositing with the male close by... not a chance! The teneral female is very similar to that of the adult.

This teneral female was caught in a web ... fortunately for her, I spotted and released her (after a photograph, of course)

I managed to catch her carefully with my fingers and then carefully release her.

You can see this species at many, many locations throughout Thailand, especially established, weedy lakes and ponds, but the adults can be seriously difficult to get close to.

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