Saturday, May 25, 2013

A Trip to Khon Kaen Environs

Location: Canal-like pond, 12-13 kms outside Khon Kaen City 
Date: Saturday,  25th May, 2013.
Weather: Exceptionally hot (as always in Khon Kaen)
Returning to where I very first started to get an interest in odonata, I visited a heavily tree-lined pond, which is exposed at one end and then turns into a kind of canal, which is extremely dark in parts, due to the tree cover. Upon my arrival, I saw a species I have only seen once before in Khon Kaen and that was about 20 kms in the other direction - Ceriagrion cerinorubellum. Amazingly it was also about 50 metres from Mitraphap Road ... the busiest and nosiest road in the world (well, not really, but it's really busy). I also managed to spot (visually) a solitary male Rhyothemis plutonia - the closest to KK I have seen before is at Phu Wiang NP, around 80 kms away from the city. There were also hundreds of Ceriagrion praetermissum - including about 50 copula. I hadn't seen this species is Khon Kaen for a few years, so they are definitely making a comeback. There were also several common species that made an appearance. However, moment of the day, was when I saw a male Heliaeschna uninervulata resting from the hot day sun under heavy tree cover. It is the first time that I have seen this species and is probably a provincial record though I will need confirmation on this. So, all in all, a good day. I hope to compile a comprehensive species list for the province of Khon Kaen by the end of this year. There are a few interesting species already on the list from previous years and I hope to add a few more by visiting the few waterfalls I haven't been to - if the water ever arrives for them!
Heliaeschna uninervulata, male
Ceriagrion cerinorubellum, male - only my second sighting in Khon Kaen

The location of the above species (looking back towards the road where you can see my bike)

Ceriagrion praetermissum - seemingly none for a long time and then plenty ...

... including lots and lots of copula

Rhodothemis rufa, male - common but really hard to get near to photograph

Ictinogomphus decoratus melaenops, male - extremely common, but a classic-looking dragonfly!

A simple checklist of species spotted at the location:
Ceriagrion praetermissum (male and female very common) 
Ceriagrion cerinorubellum (solitary male)
Ceriagrion auranticum (2 males)
 Brachythemis Contaminata (common)
Aethriamanta aethra (3-4 mature blue males)
Brachydiplax chalybea chalybea (males common)
Crocothemis servilia servilia (common)
Agriocnemis pygmaea (common)
Diplacodes trivialis (fairly common)
Heliaeschna uninervulata (5-6 specimens - can't confirm male/female)
 Ictinogomphus decoratus melaenops (males common)
Pantala flavescens (common)
Pseudagrion microcephalum (solitary male)
Rhodothemis rufa (males common)
Rhyothemis plutonia (solitary male)
Tholymis tillagra (2 resting males)

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