Saturday, March 5, 2011

93. Gynacantha subinterrupta (Rambur, 1842)

Number: 93
Family: Aeschnidae
Genus: Gynacantha 
Species: Gynacantha subinterrupta
Common name(s): Dingy Dusk Hawker
Thai name(s): แมลงปอยักษ์รีทีก้านยาว
Habitat: Forested streams/ponds (uplands & lowlands)
Province(s) sighted: Widespread (Khon Kaen); Khao Yai (Nakhorn Ratchasima), Nam Nao (petchabun); Doi Suthep (Chiang Mai).
Sightings (by me): Common
In flight (that I have seen): April-December (probably all year)

A big and fairly common dragonfly I see often is Gynacantha subinterrupta. I have seen this species at many places throughout the country. However, I most often see the immature males and females. Fully mature specimens are incredibly rare to see (probably die before they reach old age!).

 The 'only' mature male
Here's the only mature male I've seen. It was about 4 years ago and flew into my bedroom along with a mature female.

The (dead) male
While I was teaching at school, one of Beau's (my girlfriend) students was cleaning the inside of one of air conditioning units and came across a large dragonfly. It was just alive, but only just. I think it had been sucked inside. It was a youngish male. It gave me a good chance to get some really clear photos. I saw about 10 specimens in a few days at school.

Gynacantha subinterrupta, male - dorsal view
Gynacantha subinterrupta, male - basal view 
Gynacantha subinterrupta, male - thoracic view

Gynacantha subinterrupta, male - by my watch it's a snip over 7 cms 

Gynacantha subinterrupta, male - caudal appendages, dorsal view
Gynacantha subinterrupta, male - caudal appendages, basal view
The female
The adult female is similar to the male. 

The same female now in my house!

The female's wing venation (now dead - she was extremely old when I saw her and watched her die slowly, but peacefully).

... and caudal appendages (thoracic view)

... dorsal view (cerci clearly broken following oviposition) ...

... and basal view (though this didn't come out too well). 

The mature female
This female flew into my bedroom at night around 4 years ago, before I was into photographing them. It's still the fully-coloured female that I have seen. I think the colours are beautiful (sorry about the horrible curtains!).

  Here's the first ever female I saw in Khon Kaen (also missing its cerci)

The teneral female
The teneral female is much greener by comparison. The key difference is the prominent yellow mark on the prothorax which seems to disappear with age. The face is also yellow.

Another look at the teneral female
This is the same specimen as the one above from a different angle. It highlights the caudal appendages. Also, the single black spot on the synthorax. The base of the abdomen is creamy white.

Up close...
A close up of the teneral female. You can tell she is going to grow up to be beautiful. Mmmm...

No comments:

Post a Comment