Thursday, March 3, 2011

66. Crocothemis servilia servilia (Drury, 1773)

Number: 66
Family: Libellulidae
Genus: Crocothemis
Species: Crocothemis servilia servilia
Common name(s): Ruddy Marsh Skimmer, Oriental Scarlet, 
Crimson Darter, Greater Red Skimmer, Eastern Scarlet Darter, Common Scarlet
Thai name(s):แมลงปอบ้านบ่อ, แมลงปอบ้านแดงเหลืองใหญ่
Habitat: Exposed ditches, 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 NP, Khao Kitchakut NP (Chantaburi); Kanchanaburi environs (Kanchanaburi); Koh Chang (Trat); farmer's pond (Prachaub Khiri Khan).
Sightings (by me): Extremely common
In flight (that I have seen): All Year
Species easily confused with: Macrodiplax cora; Rhodothemis rufa; Urothemis s. signata;  

Another extremely common dragonfly for Khon Kaen and the whole of Thailand for that matter, is Crocothemis servilia servilia. Everywhere you go, you are sure to bump into one or two of this species. From ditches to ponds, lakes to baron wasteland, you'll find these. Yet, even though they are so common, I think the male can look rather dapper sporting his bright red body from head to the tip of its abdomen.

The male
The fully adult male is bright red and has a black stripe that runs the length of its abdomen. It can be confused with other species, but that stripe makes life easier to identify them.

The sub-adult male
This is the in-between stage, where it goes a kind of orange colour. The abdomen stripe is highlighted well here. Males at this stage are scarcely seen.

The young male
The younger males are yellow and they are very difficult to tell apart from the females (I thought this was a female for over a year!)

The female
This is the female which is almost identical to the male. The only real way to tell them apart is from their anal appendages.

If you want to take photographs of dragonflies or damselflies in Thailand, this is surely one of the first species you will come across, though they can sometimes be a little tricky to get close to, especially the females.

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