Saturday, April 2, 2011

112. Philoganga montana (Hagen in Selys, 1859)

Number: 112
Family: Philogangidae
Genus: Philoganga
Species: Philoganga montana
Common name(s): N/A
Thai name(s): แมลงปอเข็มตาปีกยาวภูเขา 
Habitat: Heavily forested upland streams
Province(s) sighted: Lamklong Ngu NP (Kanchanaburi).
Sightings (by me): Rare
In flight (that I have seen): March (longer, I'm sure)

My first ever species from the Lestoideidae family! There are two species of Philoganga, one being Philoganga loringae and the second being Philoganga montana, which is the one I have found. I think it's a rare species, and was identified by Noppadon Makbun, once again! Looking through the Internet, there is little information about this species and it has only been seen at a tiny number of places in Thailand, so I am lucky to find it!

When I saw this specimen, I approached it with extreme caution not wanting to frighten it away before I photographed it (I had to clamber up an old log to get near to it and nearly fell into the stream on several occasions) I snapped away and then left it alone. When I returned, it was in the exact same place. I took more photos and then was even able to catch her easily with my hand. When I released her she flew onto my foot and then crawled onto my hand where she seemed happy enough. Eventually she flew high up into the trees and back to safety.

The female
This has to be the biggest damselfly I have seen. About the same size as Megalestes kurahashii (see earlier post), but was really robust, with an extremely stout abdomen and enormous end segments. It was bigger than many dragonflies I have photographed.

Here, she is in her natural position, amongst bamboo above the stream.

Once I released her she landed on a rotting log.

With the eye colour, maybe she is still young.

Here, she was happy to rest on my hand and gives a good idea of size.

She then flew onto my trusty walking shoes.

A close-up shot of her enormous appendages.

I will return to Lamklong Ngu National Park, as it is such a wonderful place and I hope to spot her other half!

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