Sunday, June 16, 2013

Return trip to Nam Nam NP

Location: Nam Nam National Park, Petchabun Province
Date: Saturday, 15 June 2013
Areas visited: Helicopter Pad Lake, 2 small streams near Som Bun Ranger Station
I finally returned to Nam Nao NP for the first time since I completed my year-long project 5 months ago. I arrived at 6.30 a.m. and it was already warm and bright with a few very common species buzzing around. Then I noticed a little blue specimen perching on the grasses in the marshy area ... I knew what he was straight away, Amphiallagma parvum. A beautiful species I rarely see and one reason I was here again was to spot the female. I did also spot a young male Gynacantha subinterrupta, for the first time. Maybe it's a provincial record but I don't think so. Still, it's a new record for me at the lake! Other than that, it was mainly common, ever-present species so, by 10.30 a.m. I moved on to the first stream. To reach the stream you have to travel along a long and bumpy dirt track to get to the ranger station. It's about 14-15 kms and your body knows it has been busy by the end. I reached the first stream and it was very low and small. I could see a number of male Gomphidia kruegeri kruegeri and Gomphidictinus perakensis, perched on sticks and branches. However, my target stream was further on. At the second stream odonates were moving around everywhere and couldn't get my camera out quick enough. There were that many specimens that I had to ignore the more common ones and try to look through them to spot less common. Now, not only were there loads of dragonflies, butterflies were everywhere too! Literally thousands of 'things' everywhere. There was almost no sky left in some areas haha. Eventually I saw another Gomphidae in the shape of Merogomphus parvus, which I had seen once before at the stream which runs through the HQ. Later on I saw a small number of a species close to (or a slight variation on) Burmagomphus divaricatus, which I have seen near Nam Nao town about 60 or so kms away. Other than that, it was the usual candidates which can be found at the HQ stream, but are far more abundant here. I will definitely return in a month or so. On the way back I stopped at the tiny stream and the males were still there. I made my way down and instantly saw a small teneral Gomphidae tucked away deep in the grasses. I took some photos (the best I could) and then posted them on Facebook (Dragonflies of Thailand). It has been IDd as a Stylogomphus sp. so a new species and genus for me! Finally, I returned to the Helicopter Pad lake for a final quick visit. Amazingly, I saw about 4-5 male Ceriagrion azureum (I had previously only seen 2 males on the same day before) and I saw 3 male Indolestes inflatus, deep in the grasses. So I never did get to spot female Amphiallagma parvum, but I did get to see some rare species ... and I have the perfect excuse to come back again!
Was it worth the 330 kms round trip on my little scooter? I'll let you decide.
Ceriagrion azureum, male - one of my favourite species

Amphiallagma parvum, male - only my second sighting at the lake, but I still haven't spotted the female!

Indolestes inflatus, male basking in the late afternoon sunshine.

R. triangularis - How can this beautiful species not brighten up your day?

The start of my incredible Gomphi 'day' - sorry, that was terrible.
Merogomphus parvus, male - always a welcome sight.
Gomphidia kruegeri kruegeri, male - only spotted 1 male before. They were common at both streams, but really difficult to approach
Stylogomphus sp., teneral male - probably may never know the exact species, but a new genus and new provincial record all the same!

Burmagomphus divaricatus, male - or very close to it. Seems to have slightly different thoracic markings to the others I have seen. Possibly a slight variation.

Tetrathemis platyptera, teneral male - hanging on to his new life... literally

 Aethriamanta gracilis, male - my second sighting at the lake.

Caught in a trap ...
 B. farinosa, male and  P. jorina, teneral female ... the latter I saved.

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