Sunday, March 6, 2011

102. Ictinogomphus decoratus melaenops (Selys, 1854)

Number: 102
Family: Gomphidae
Genus: Ictinogomphus
Species: Ictinogomphus decoratus melaenops
Common name(s): Common Clubtail, Common Flangetail
Thai name(s): แมลงปอเสือลายประดับ, แมลงปอเสือธรรมดา
Habitat: Exposed ditches, drains, ponds and lakes (uplands & lowlands)
Province(s) sighted: Widespread (Khon Kaen); Nam Nao NP/environs (Petchabun);  Phu Rua NP/environs (Loei); Widespread (Chiang Mai); Widespread (Chiang Rai); Khao Yai (Nakhorn Ratchasima); Khao Soi Dao (Chantaburi); Kanchanaburi environs (Kanchanaburi); small pond, Kabin Buri;  Koh Chang (Trat).
Sightings (by me): Extremely common
In flight (that I have seen): February-December
Species easily confused with: Gomphidia abbotti abbotti; Gomphidia kruegeri kruegeri; Gomphidictinus perakensis; Ictinogomphus rapax
A large Gomphidae I see almost every trip patrolling large lakes and ponds, is Ictinogomphus decoratus melaenops. It must be the most common Gomphidae of all. It is easy to identify and fairly easy to get near to as it often returns to the same stick.
The male
The male is black with strong yellow markings along the thorax and abdomen. The base of S-1 and S2 (partially) are white. The frons is yellow and the eyes are blue/green. The caudal appendages are also very long and the end segments are "club" like.



Be careful with this species... I have bought a small net to capture some species for identification, before release. I am now going to try and take photos of all species in nature and by hand. All dragonflies bite, but it is so weak, you can't even feel it. This bugger, on the other hand, had a really good bite. And, though it didn't draw blood, I could really feel it! Well worth the effort though!

The teneral male 
 ... not off to the best start. This male had to endure torrential rain just after it had emerged at the Helicopter Pad, Nam Nao.

Caudal appendages, close up (though extremely wet) ...

Here's the exuviae from which he emerged ...

The female
This is the only the second female I have managed to photograph in 6 years. Unlike the male, they tend to hide away more up in the treetops. The markings are slightly different to that of the male.
The only other female I have managed to photograph.

You can see this species throughout the country at almost every stagnant ditch, pond or lake.

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