Tuesday, July 19, 2011

134. Lestes praemorsus decipiens (Hagen in Selys, 1862)

Number: 134
Family: Lestidae
Genus: Lestes
Species: Lestes praemorsus decipiens
Common name(s): Scalloped Spreadwing, 
Crenulated Spreadwing, Sapphire-eyed Spreadwing
Thai name(s): แมลงปอเข็มปีกแผ่ลายสมอ
Habitat: Exposed natural upland ponds (heavily tree-lined at the edges)
Province(s) sighted: Khao Yai NP (Nakhorn Ratchasima).
Sightings (by me): Rare
In flight (that I have seen): April-July (I assume longer)

On my recent trip to Khao Yai NP, I saw a number of new species, as well as being on the receiving end of a million leech bites! However, it was all worth it, as I saw a beautiful new species in Lestes praemorsus decipiens. I saw this species once before in Chiang Mai, but the photos are too poor for a true ID. It was resting at the edge of the pond in open water, early in the morning and was the very first species I saw that day... anything else was a bonus!

The male
A beautiful specimen, that has a rather short abdomen, 
compared to L. platystylus. This specimen also has heavy pruinescence and therefore the dorsal 'scallop' shape is hidden. Still, a great looking damselfly and a new species for me.

The male very early in the morning.

Same image, but without flash, for a more natural appearance.




Close up of the face.





The female
Upon my return to Khao Yai, I managed to spot a copula, which was brilliant to watch. The female (still with the male attached) oviposited for long periods. Here is a close-up of the female (part of a copula).


The copula



Ovipositing
Here, the female is ovipositing onto rotting vegetation.



Many, many thanks to Mr. Oleg Kosterin for the ID of the male.

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