Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Nam Nao: A Year in the Making (June)

Location 1: Helicopter Pad Lake, Nam Nao National Park, Petchabun. 
Date: Saturday,  30th June, 2012.
Weather: Heavily overcast, but no rain
Expectations of recording additional species (for my list): Low
Leech bites: 6

I managed to make it to Nam Nao again in June, to keep my project going. Though only just ... it was the last day of the month! That said, it still counts and I am so glad I made the trip. I didn't spot any new species or new records at the Helicopter Pad lake, but, although it was extremely dull and windy, I did get some of my best photos there, including spotting a second female Indolestes inflatus and got some other good shots. It was also great to see a female Rhyothemis triangularis happily pose for me, though she was hanging on for dear life as she tried to avoid strong winds.

Here are my favourite photos from the trip:

Indolestes inflatus, female
Here is the second female I have spotted at the lake. She was up early (6.30 a.m.), hence the slightly muted photos, but she still slowly oviposited for long periods (photo 3, she is just moving into position at the only point in the day when the sun burst though momentarily). 

Rhyothemis triangularis, female
This is possibly my best photo ever ... she was happy to sit there and let me get close. In fact, both photos are completely uncropped, using my 100 mm macro lens. I love how she glistens in the early morning light.

Onychargia atrocyana, male

Agriocnemis femina, copula

Ceriagrion indochinense, male

Argiocnemis rubescens rubeola, male

Indothemis limbata, male (in the hand)

Nam Nao Helicopter Pad (added species from the last visit, bold; new species for the lake, blue; species not seen from last visit, red)

Note: Numbers were low/absent common species probably due to the heavily overcast conditions.

Fam. Coenagrionidae
Aciagrion tillyardi (Laidlaw, 1919) ♂ ♀ [fairly common]
Agriocnemis femina (Brauer, 1868) ♂ ♀ [very common]
Agriocnemis nana (Laidlaw, 1914)  [very common]
Agriocnemis pygmaea (Rambur, 1842) ♂ ♀ [common]
Argiocnemis rubescens rubeola Selys, 1877) ♀ [♂ common]
Ceriagrion chaoi (Schmidt, 1964)
Ceriagrion indochinense Asahina, 1967  [1]
Ischnura senegalensis (Rambur, 1842) ♂ ♀ [fairly common]
Onychargia atrocyana Selys, 1865 ♂ ♀ [extremely common]
Pseudagrion rubriceps rubriceps (Selys, 1876)

Fam. Platycnemididae
Coeliccia chromothorax (Selys, 1891)  [2]
Copera ciliata (Selys, 1863) ♂ ♀ [extremely common]
Copera marginipes (Rambur, 1842) ♂ [common]

Fam. Protoneuridae
Prodasineura autumnalis (Fraser, 1922) ♂ ♀ [extremely common]

Fam. Gomphidae
Ictinogomphus decoratus (Selys, 1854) ♂ [common]

Fam. Libellulidae
Acisoma panorpoides panorpoides (Rambur, 1842) ♂ ♀ [common]
Brachydiplax farinosa (Krüger 1902) ♂ ♀ [♂ common]
Brachythemis contaminata (Fabricius, 1793) ♂ ♀ [common]
Crocothemis servilia (Drury, 1773) ♂ ♀ [fairly common]
Diplacodes trivialis (Rambur, 1842) ♂ ♀ [fairly common]
Indothemis limbata (Selys, 1891) ♂ ♀ [♂ extremely common]
Indothemis carnatica (Fabricius, 1798)
Neurothemis fulvia (Drury, 1773) ♂  [uncommon]
Orthetrum chrysis (Selys, 1891) ♂ [fairly common]
Orthetrum sabina sabina (Drury, 1770) ♂ [common]
Pseudothemis jorina Förster, 1904 ♀ [common]
Rhodothemis rufa (Rambur, 1842) 
Rhyothemis plutonia (Selys, 1883)
Rhyothemis triangularis (Kirby, 1889) ♂ [♂ 1, ♀ 1]
Tholymis tillarga (Fabricius, 1798)
Trithemis aurora (Burmeister, 1839) ♂ ♀ [extremely common]
Trithemis festiva (Rambus, 1842)

Location 2: River at the headquarters, Nam Nao National Park, Petchabun. 
Date: Saturday, 30th June, 2012.
Weather: Extremely cloudy, occasional rain - seriously poor vision under tree canopy
Expectations of recording additional species (for my list): Low
Leech bites: 0

Following a rather fruitful morning at the lake, my expectations were high for the river. Unfortunately, upon my arrival, I discovered that it was almost night time along the tree-lined stream. I took stock at the entrance with a Vietnamese sausage and homemade piccalilli sandwich. As I was chomping away, I saw a male Euphaea ochracea perching - rather, sleeping -  on some bamboo near the entrance. I took some photos and then saw a female. The sandwich was getting rather wet from saliva as it was held in my mouth for a long time. My confidence had grown ... or had it. I set off along the nature trail, but it seemed to get darker and darker as I went. It was time to turn back. Then, adrenaline kicked in. I got my second wind and unperturbed with the weather, I continued to search for dragonflies through the twilight (even though it was actually 1 p.m.). As I moved slowly along the stream, I began to realise that my first instincts may have been correct. GO HOME! Nope. I'm here now. Carry on. Then, with a break from the gloom, a beam of sunlight sent a number of species into a frenzy ... for about 5 minutes. Still, it was enough to spot a few Prodasineura auricolor - yes, Prodasineura doisuthepensis had left the building, following lots being there in April. Are they the same species? Hopefully I'll find out soon enough. Then, I saw a species I have seen before, but only once - Merogomphus paviei. Though I only got a terrible photo, it is enough for a positive ID (and I have seen a male there before). This breathed life into my weary legs. Onwards I marched. Cue ... the rain. The heavens opened and I'd forgotten my rain gear. Awesome. As the rain got heavier, my legs did too... I'd had enough. I turned to walk back. And then I saw a dragonfly battered towards the ground by the rain ... a Gomphidae. It was Merogomphus parvus, a species I had only seen in Khao Yai. It hovered above a leaf for about a minute dodging the rain. Finally, it came to rest and I got an OK photo. I adjusted my position slowly and was about to fire for the perfect shot, when my bag swung round and it flew away. Git! Never mind. I had good photos anyway. Now, with a new record (for me) at the river, I carried on. Within seconds I saw what looked like Ictinogomphus decoratus. "Do they live at rivers?" I thought. I edged closer and, though only a few feet away, I still wasn't sure. I got a few OK photos and then Beau, my girlfriend phoned as the 'money shot' was in focus. The sound caused it to fly away. Luckily (for my girlfriend), I managed to spot 2 more males. I am not 100% sure, but I think that it is a male Gomphidictinus perakensis. It looks the same, but the markings are slightly different to those I can find. I think that the ones I have seen could be younger males. Anyway, it's the first new species of the year!!!!

I didn't see much after that, but it made me realise that persistence pays. That, or I am mad, trying to get some photos of flies in the dark. Hmmmm ...


SINCE I wrote this, Mapor has kindly informed me that I had spotted 2 species, not one. In addition Gomphidictinus perakensis, I had also spotted Gomphidia k. kruegeri, which I initially thought was the same species! Mapor also agrees with my mystery Gomphidae, M. paviei.

My best photos of the day ...

Gomphidictinus perakensis, male. Yes, it really does look like Ictinogomphus decoratus.

Gomphidia k. kruegeri, male (I thought was the same as the above species!)

Merogomphus parvus, male. It's MY provincial record if no one else's!

Euphaea ochracea, male & female (below). They may be common, but they are a beacon of light to weary, desperate idiots in the middle of nowhere.

What the ...? I KNOW for once what this is... Merogomphus paviei, male. Only because I have seen it once before (see below).

Here is a good photo I took last year at the same place (almost exactly the same area). I'm confident the above is the same species. Are you?

Nam Nao Headquarter's stream (added species from the last visit, bold; new species for the stream, blue; species not seen from last visit, red)

Family: Chlorocyphidae
Rhinocypha fenestrella (Rambur, 1842) ♂ ♀ [very common] 
Rhinocypha biforata (Selys, 1859) ♂ ♀ [fairly common]

Family: Euphaeidae
Euphaea ochracea (Selys, 1859) ♂ ♀ [♂ fairly common]

Family: Gomphidae
Gomphidictinus perakensi (Laidlaw, 1902) [2]  - new provincial record???
Gomphidia k.kruegeri (Martin, 1904) ♂ [1] - new provincial record??? 
Merogomphus parvus (Krüger, 1899) ♂ [1] - new provincial record???
Merogomphus paviei (Martin, 1904) ♂ [1] 

Family: Platycnemididae
Coeliccia didyma (Selys, 1863) ♂ ♀ [♂ very common]
Copera marginipes (Rambur, 1842) ♂ ♀ [very common]
Copera vittata (Selys, 1863) ♂ ♀ very common]

Family: Protoneuridae
Prodasineura doisuthepensis (Hoess, 2007)
Prodasineura auricolor [3-4

Family: Libellulidae
Zygonyx iris malayana (Selys, 1869) ♂ [3-4]

Next Trip: July


  1. Nice Trip!!! Dennis

    Glad to see I.inflatus female ovipositing.

    and a suspected gomphid that I think It's Merogomphus paviei.

  2. Hello Dennis,

    I love your blog! Would you please help me identify this damselfly? I'd really appreciate it:


    It was photographed in May, beside a waterfall in Southern Laos. You can contact me at alokesahu (dot) hotmail (dot) com.

    Many thanks,