Wednesday, April 27, 2011

121. Dysphaea gloriosa (Fraser, 1938)

Number: 121
Family: Euphaeidae
Genus: Dysphaea 
Species: Dysphaea gloriosa
Common name(s): N/A
Thai name(s): N/A
Habitat: Exposed, but tree-lined streams (uplands & lowlands)
Location(s): Khao Yai NP (Nakhon Ratchasima) Below Nam Nao NP (Petchabun); Phu Ruea (Loei).
Sightings (by me): Uncommon
In flight (that I have seen): April-July (longer, I'm sure)

A species that confused me so much was Dysphaea gloriosa. It looks so much like Euphaea ochracea, it is unbelievable. But when I saw it fly, it looks so different and thought that it must be a new species. It is bigger, the wings are solid ochre and it flies completely differently (the wings tend to move in a circular motion). The caudal appendages are much longer too. I sent photos to Noppadon Makbun and he confirmed that it was Dysphaea gloriosa... so a new species for me! 

Anyway, it taught me a lesson. If you see a damselfly that looks slightly different... take lots of photos as it might be a new species!

Here he is in a more natural position. They tend to 'hug' whatever they land on (large logs, mostly)...

Male, in the hand... 
This shows how much larger it is than E. ochracea

Another male.... 
but a slightly dead one! This I picked out of a spider's web at a river just below Nam Nao NP. Obviously the ants had got to it, hence no head. I saw two other males present here, but just as I was nearing them the heavens opened and they rapidly disappeared. 

The female ???
When I visited a small stream near a resort I was staying at recently (8/7/12), I noticed a number of males. Very early the following morning I noticed a newly emerged female. Unfortunately, Euphaea masoni was also present. However, I have seen a number of females of that species and this one seemed larger. I could be wrong, though. Can anyone shed light on the matter? I know identifying teneral specimens can be very tough.

I saw several specimens of this species at Khao Yai National Park and I am hoping to return soon to spot an adult female. It's a truly amazing damselfly.

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