Tuesday, July 19, 2011

134. Agrionoptera insignis (Rambur, 1842)

Number: 134
Family: Libellulidae
Genus: Agrionoptera
Species: Agrionoptera insignis insignis
Common name(s): Narrow-bodied Skimmer, Slim Metallica, Grenadier
Thai name(s): 
Habitat: Heavily tree-covered end of a natural uplands pond
Province(s) sighted: Nam Nao NP Helicopter Pad (Petchabun); Khao Yai NP (Nakhorn Ratchasima).
Sightings (by me): Rare
In flight (that I have seen): April-July

Another new species I found at a natural pond, in Khao Yai NP, is Agrionoptera insignis insignis. I instantly knew the species, thanks to Noppadon Makbun's great image of the male on his blog. When I first saw it on his blog, I wanted to see this beautiful dragonfly. And now I have!

The male
When I returned to the same place that I saw the teneral female, I managed to spot 2 males resting close by under heavy tree cover. They were difficult to get anywhere near, but my persistence paid off and I managed to get a decent shot or two... as well as a million leech bites, full of mud and scratches everywhere. Totally worth it!

The female
I was lucky to spot a mature female for the first time on my last visit to Nam Nao Helicopter Pad lake. It could even be a provincial record. The female is similar to the male, but more robust. Not the best photos in the world, but she was perched a few feet above my head.

The 'teneral' female
The female has very similar markings to that of the male. Some seem to be confused with this species and Lathrecista asiatica, especially the male. However, I knew exactly what this was from a good distance. The anguish I went through trying to get close enough to photograph it without scaring it away was immense, especially as I was wading through heavily muddy water.

This was the angle I could see from a distance... maybe that is why I knew it was a new species.

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