Sunday, June 16, 2013

160. Burmagomphus asahinai (Kosterin, Makbun & Dawrueng, 2012)

Number: 160
Family: Gomphidae
Genus: Burmagomphus
Species: Burmagomphus asahinai
Common name(s): N/A
Synonyms: N/A
Habitat: Uplands stream
Province(s) sighted: Nr. Sum Bon Ranger Station, Nam Nao National Park (Petchabun)
Sightings (by me): Extremely Rare
In flight (that I have seen): June (2013)
Species easily confused with: Burmagomphus divaricatus

Yesterday, I returned to Nam Nao NP in the hope of finding something new for my personal records ... even a provincial record, maybe. As I waded through a shallow, but rocky stream, I noticed a small Gomphidae obilisking in the hot sun. As I carefully approached, another slightly larger Gomphidae dropped onto it and a battle ensued. Both flew away ... you could say I was a bit p****d off to say the least. I carried on and eventually at a long flat area of rock surface in the middle of the stream, I saw 2 more males of the same species soaking up the sun. This time I managed to photograph them pretty well  in blinding sunshine and thought that they were Burmagomphus divaricatus. It was only when I got home and looked through my photos more carefully that I noticed that it had slightly different thoracic markings to those I saw in Nam Nao town (about 60-70 kms away) and at Khao Yai - both other places were large, open streams. This was small and rocky. Anyway, I posted a few photos on Dragonflies of Thailand Group (Facebook) and it was comfirmed as Burmagomphus asahinai, a species recently described by three people who I don't have any idea who they are ... hahaha Seriously, though, both Noppadon Makbun and Pattarawich Dawrueng comfirmed this species and Pattarawich also said it was a provincial record ... so I think I can safely say that this is correct. Many thanks to those mentioned as well as everyone else who contributes on the Dragonflies of Thailand Group (Facebook). Without you, as well as Oleg Kosterin, I wouldn't be able to differentiate between Burmagomphus asahinai and Diplacodes trivialis haha

The male
The male is difficult to differentiate between the other species in the genus. The thoracic markings are probably the most obviously difference, though still subtle.  The only thing I can suggest is, always take photos of Gomphidae ... it's not as if you see them everyday anyway. and you may record a new species for yourself!

Male appendages
The male appendages differ slightly to those of Burmagomphus divaricatus (click on link to see entry) - they seem slightly thicker and more curved than those of B. divaricatus. Not the best photos in the world, but may help someone correctly ID the species in the field.

I will return in a month hopefully to spot the female ...


  1. Hi Dennis,

    Great shots- Thanks for sharing !
    For the gomphid, try also to catch a male specimen and realise good close-ups of the anal appendages from different angles.
    But I know the dilemma as to whether to use the net or the camera first ;)


    1. Hi André

      Many thanks for your comments!
      I agree 100% that I should always catch and photograph the appendages. Unfortunately, I travel great distances on my small motorbike and it's not always possible to carry a net ... this time was one of them. I do, however, try to photograph the appendages - this one was too skittish and flew away before I had the chance to do so! I've added some low quality shots of the appendages (cropped). Hopefully these will help.



  2. Thanks Dennis,

    I also travel by bike and I use a folding net with telescopic handle – very compact stuff ! (you can buy it in fishing shops)
    Please keep going on, you are the number 1 contributor for S-E Asia dragonflies images on the web. Very useful resource for all of us !
    I hope you will reach 180 species this year!


    1. Thank you very much, André.
      I never even thought about a fishing shop and I love fishing hahaha!!! I will look this week. I am going again to Nam Nao town ... near to where I have just been but with more open streams and some tiny forested streams ... if I pick up 1 or 2 new record species I will be jumping for joy ... as too if I reach 180 this year! Though a planned trip to Chiang Mai in October will hopefully help!
      Thanks again, André


  3. Hi Dennis, fantastic to be reading about your adventures and to be following you again - with or without the fishing net!

  4. hello dennis... ur blog its awesome^^ good job sir

  5. this is soo cool! please check out my blog

  6. Great shots Dennis, never seen one like this before. I recently started trying to take picture of dragonflies, it's difficult for me to get good shots. Took over 50 the other day and got one good picture.

    I am not really sure what kind it is but I did post it.

    Noce images all over your web site, you take some really great shots.
    Cool Dragonflies

  7. Hi Dennis,

    Where are you ? Have you came back to UK?


    1. Hi Sebastien. No, I'm still in KK but haven't found any new species recently! I am getting plenty of improvement shots, but no new species. I need to travel great distances to find new species and I have no money (or time) to do it. Things will change soon and I WILL find new species. Hehehe. Keep up the fantastic work, Sebastien. I love your blog!

  8. Great!
    Meanwhile this summer I found it in also NE Cambodia (the type locality is in SW Cambodia). Has it became more common recently than before?

    1. Hi Oleg. Hope you are keeping well. Amazing to hear you found it in Cambodia too! It seems more common than before (there are a few people who have seen it now). Maybe it was previously confused with Burmagomphus divaricatus until it was described. It is very similar (as you know). Now people are aware of it, we know that it exists, I suppose haha. Take care and speak soon, Dennis

    2. I'm afraid people already knew that it existsed before. Asahina had a male and depicted it well in his paper on Thai Gomphidae issued 27 years ago, but did not name it since he has only one half-broken specimen. We in fact only added missing details and named it after Asahinai.