Monday, June 6, 2011

124. Epophthalmia frontalis frontalis Selys, 1871

Number: 124
Family: Corduliidae
Genus: Epophthalmia
Species: Epophthalmia frontalis frontalis
Common name(s): N/A
Thai name(s):แมลงปอป่าตาเขียวปีกใส
Habitat: Unknown
Province(s) sighted: Khon Kaen environs (Khon Kaen)
Sightings (by me): Commonly seen in flight but never perching (4 specimens - all seen dead along the roadside, one found dead in a house)
In flight (that I have seen): June-October (probably longer)

Who says you need lots and lots of patience to capture photos of dragonflies? Try cycling around the country roads and you may get a nice suprise. I did anyway. About 10 kms outside Khon Kaen, along a quiet country road, I cycled past a large, dead dragonfly, probably hit by a car. I stopped and picked it up. Unsure of the species, I carefully placed it into a small pouch I have under the seat where I normally keep my phone and cycled another 20 kms before returning home. Fortunately, it survived the journey and I was able to get good photos of it, before the ants moved in and left just a pair of wings! I searched the Internet and thought it was Epophthalmia frontalis frontalis, which was later confirmed as correct by Noppadon Makbun. Since then, I have spotted 2 more specimens (2 males and 1 female in total). Maybe they are more common that I thought in Khon Kaen, but rarely seen as they reside high up in the trees.

The male
Here is one of the males 'in situ'. Well, he is totally dead, but I just wanted his to look a little bit more natural and I think this is how they rest.



... and back to the better-for-science shots.




Wing venation 
This photo shows the distinctive hyaline wings with slight yellow colouration to the base of the hind wings.

Caudal appendages
Views of the terminal segments which also help with identification.

 Lateral view ...


Lateral view (from a slightly single angle) ...


Dorsal view ...


Basal view ...


The female
I have finaly managed to find a female ... and again, it is dead! Thus, more unnatural shots ... though probably better from an ID point of view. Similar to the male, but slightly more robust. Also, note the eggs still attatched to the appendages.




Wing venation ...
 with broken tips - this was the better side! I think she was quite old.


The female appendages ...
amazing how the eggs are still attatched!




Male vs. female
I was lucky enough to also spot a female (this was my first female sighting), though she is really smashed up. It does, however, allow me to spot a few differences - the abdomen is more robust, the wings have a brown tinge (not clear like the male) and don't have any yellow colouration at the base. The eyes don't seem to be metallic either, though this could be simply because it has faded.