Sunday, October 28, 2012

155. Rhinocypha arguta (Hämäläinen & Divasiri, 1997)



Number: 155
Family: Chlorocyphidae
Genus:  Rhinocypha
Species:  Rhinocypha arguta
Common name(s): N/A
Thai name(s): แมลงปอเข็มน้ำตกท้องส้ม, แมลงปอเข็มน้ำตกสั้นขีดคู่
Habitat: Montane streams (in bright areas)
Province(s) sighted: Phu Kradueng National Park (Loei)
Sightings (by me): 6 males, 1 female
In flight (that I have seen): October
Species easily confused with: None

A beautiful and rare montane damselfly I set out to see, almost evaded me once more. Then, third time lucky and at the exact location where Noppadon Makbun led me (when I visited last time), I saw a solitary male Rhinocypha arguta basking in glorious sunshine. Unfortunately, he wasn't reading the script as he simply moved from rock to rock as I tried to position myself to get a good photo. I managed to get a couple of record shots, but nothing spectacular. On the second day, I spotted a further 5 males along the stream at various points - all in bright sunspots. Though difficult to get anywhere near, I eventually got some half-decent shots. 

According to the IUCN website [http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/174523/0] website, it states about R. arguta: "It is widely found in northern Thailand (in the Phu Kradung mountains (National Park), Loei Province, and Pee Pan Nam mountain range (Jae Sawn National Park)". It is also found at two sites in Vietnam. The female is yet to be described.

The male
The male is easily recognised as it is the only species in its genus to have orange colouration. 




This specimen moved away from the river and sat in the nearby bushes - getting as much out of the sun as possible. 





Unfortunately, though I managed to spot a solitary female, she flew straight up into a tree and I could see her peering dow at me from a safe height. Her blue eyes really stood out, but she was out of reach of my camera. Until the next time ... 

Many thanks to Noppadon Makbun for leading me to this beautiful creature.

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