Saturday, March 5, 2011

92. Tholymis tillagra (Fabricius, 1798)

Number: 92
Family: Libellulidae
Genus: Tholymis
Species: Tholymis tillagra
Common name(s): Coral-tailed Cloud Wing, Foggy-winged Twister, 
Evening Skimmer, Twister, White-barred Duskhawk
Thai name(s): แมลงปอบ้านจุดสีน้ำตาลขาว
Habitat: Exposed ditches, drains, 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); Khao Yai (Nakhorn Ratchasima); small pond, Kabin Buri;  Koh Chang (Trat).
Sightings (by me): Very common 
In flight (that I have seen): February-December

Tholymis tillagra is a crepuscular dragonfly, which basically means it is most active at dawn and/or dusk. It is very common, especially at dusk when lots of them can be seen flying rapidly in a kind of square shape, scooping up any insects they can get hold of. The males are easy to identify and are most common at the edge of lowland ponds and lakes. In the daytime, they hide away deep in reeds and bushes, often scared out of their resting place as you walk past. 

The male
The male is easy to identify. It is a medium sized dragonfly, and its thorax and abdomen are a rusty red colour, as too is the face and caudal appendages. The forewings are hyaline, but the hindwings have enfumed brown and white marks. When in flight, the white on the hindwings really stands out.


Wing venation

The sub-adult male
Both the thorax and the abdomen are yellow in the young male. There is a white stripe on the thorax dorsally. You can also just make out the dark markings on the hindwings.



Teneral male, in the hand


Ugly or beautiful?
An extreme close up of another young male. This one allowed me to get very close. You can really see just how hairy its face is.


The female
The female is identical to the young male. Only the terminal segments differ. 


If you want to see this species, simply look close to any pond or ditch. There is surely one or two tucked away under a tree in the shade or deep in the grasses waiting for the sun to fade.