Tuesday, April 26, 2011

119. Rhyothemis plutonia (Selys, 1883)

Number: 119
Family: Libellulidae
Genus:  Rhyothemis
Species:  Rhyothemis plutonia
Common name(s): Greater Blue Wing
Thai name(s): แมลงปอบ้านไร่ปลายใส
Habitat: Exposed shallow, weedy marshland (warm water), ponds and lakes (mostly mid- uplands)
Province(s) sighted: Phu Wiang NP & environs (Khon Kaen); Nam Nao NP/environs (Petchabun);  Khao Yai (Nakhorn Ratchasima); Phu Ruea environs (Loei).
Sightings (by me): Fairly common
In flight (that I have seen): April-July

FINALLY! I managed to capture photos of this species. I had seen a solitary male twice before, but they continually flew high above the treetops giving me no hope of photographing them. Then, at a tiny pond/marshy area with warm water, I saw two males fighting each other. After each battle they would land back in the same position. They did this over and over again. Eventually, I crept down some steep banking and through the marshy area. I got it! In fact, these are completely uncropped and I was amazed how they didn't just fly away. So there it was, my 3rd species from this genus, Rhyothemis plutonia.

The male
Simply stunning is the best way to describe this species. It is almost completely black, but has sparkling metallic green and pink/orange colouration to the wings, which gives it its name.

These are the best natural photos I have managed so far. 




This one I caught recently at Nam Nao... it had just been in a battle with another male, hence the damaged wing. 



The female ...
At long, long last I have managed to get good photos of the female when I visited a stream at Phu Ruea environs (7/6/12). Unlike the few others I have seen (mostly as part of a copula that lasts for a few moments), she sat there happily, letting me get close to her. These photos are uncropped. The female is the same as the male, but the abdomen is more robust. Also, she seems to have more green colouration to her wings and no pink, though this could vary.



Since writing this blog, I have spotted many more males, especially at Phu Wiang National Park, Khon Kaen.